Studying Gender & Sexuality Studies at Kenyon
The Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies examines the social construction of gender. Drawing on courses in fields such as anthropology, English, history, political science, psychology and religious studies, students use a transnational and intersectional approach to investigating gender. Students examine such topics as the lives and works of women and the experiences of gays and lesbians — areas of inquiry that have long been underrepresented in academic studies.
Introduction to Queer Studies
This course develops a critical framework for thinking and writing about intersectional issues related to sexuality, sex, gender identity and gender expression. We’ll examine how society interacts with queer and transgender identities in various spheres, including politics, healthcare, arts, sciences and more.
Transnational feminist theories and methodologies destabilize Western feminisms, challenging notions of subjectivity and place and their connections to experiences of race, class and gender. We’ll examine the impact of globalization on feminist discourses that describe the cross-cultural experiences of women.
Gender, Sexuality and the Law
After an introduction to legal rights and norms, students in this course dive into case studies tracing the history of marriage equality, reproductive rights, and laws against employment discrimination and hate crimes. Assignments include writing op-eds that integrate multiple sources into essays of under 1,000 words, which gives students the chance to engage in public discourse and share their perspectives.
Queer and Feminist Feelings: The Cultural Politics of Emotion
What do sexism, homophobia and transphobia feel like? This seminar explores how emotions reflect and shape political transformation in the world. We examine what emotional experiences — trauma, intimacy, violence, shame, hope, love, anger — can teach us about the experience of living under structures of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and capitalism.
Jessica Pruett joined the Kenyon faculty in 2023. Her areas of expertise include queer and feminist social movements, intersectional feminist theory and cultural studies. Her current focus is an analysis of the effect of political conflict on lesbian feminist communities in the 1970s.