Critical Gender Studies
Social Science Building, Room 201
All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice. Updates may be found on the Academic Senate website: http://senate.ucsd.edu/catalog-copy/approved-updates/.
Critical Gender Studies
The UC San Diego Critical Gender Studies Program (CGS) is an interdisciplinary academic program offering students the opportunity to study gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationalism as intersecting categories of analysis and experience. Some basic questions that anchor the program’s core curriculum include asking how these categories become institutionalized yet change over time; how they work together to shape individual identity, contribute to the organization of social life, and become essential to the production of many different kinds of knowledge about that life.
The program’s core curriculum builds upon feminist scholarship of the last decade, incorporating the new interdisciplinary agendas, intellectual debates, changing methodological practices, and major scholarly shifts that have reshaped the field of women’s studies. Informed by the insights of critical race feminism, feminist critiques of conventional domains of knowledge, and gay and lesbian inquiries challenging traditional understandings and assumptions about sexuality, this core curriculum is designed to move students beyond simple binary descriptions and contemporary, popularized accounts of gender. Instead, gender is analyzed in the full complexity of its construction over time and in a variety of cultural, scholarly, and global arenas.
Students can expect to encounter a rich spectrum of approaches in studying these complex constructions—the majority of a student’s advanced work in the program consists of upper-division courses from the Departments of History, Communication, Literature, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Political Science. However, despite their important differences, what these approaches share is a critical stance with respect to the subject of gender. This stance, reflected in the program’s name Critical Gender Studies, refuses easy answers when exploring the social relations of gender and reaches, instead, for detailed accounts of the intricacies and paradoxes of power through which these relations are and have been made and maintained.
Critical gender studies prepares undergraduates for a variety of careers through the study of social, political, economic, historical, and cultural contexts. For example, the interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary course work that students complete as part of a major in critical gender studies provides an excellent foundation for those students with career aspirations in law, medicine and health sciences, public administration, and social services. Students wishing to pursue doctoral work will also find that interdisciplinary training in critical gender studies equips them with theoretical and methodological strengths in most disciplines and applied research fields. Specialists in gender studies are increasingly being used as consultants in industry, higher education, insurance companies, and personnel firms. State and federal government agencies require people who have special training in analyzing gender relations. Finally, educational institutions need specialists to develop and administer women’s centers and gay and lesbian centers as well as other institutional structures and programs.
The Critical Gender Studies Program offers two options of study: an undergraduate major and an undergraduate minor (or program of concentration). Because critical gender studies is an interdisciplinary major, it is important to work closely with an academic adviser in planning your program.
Preparation for the Major and Minor
All critical gender studies majors and minors are required to take the Introduction to Critical Gender Studies sequence: Critical Gender Studies 2A-B, 100, and 101.
To complete a major, students are required to take sixteen courses, comprising four courses in the introductory sequence (2A, 2B, 100, 101), and twelve upper-division courses. Six of the upper-division courses must be taken in the CGS program; the other half (six) will be drawn from among the advanced electives taught within departments. Three of the advanced elective courses must be in the Humanities Division, the other three in Social Sciences. (See information on quarterly course list below.) All CGS majors will be assigned a faculty mentor, who will supervise the student’s progress through the program.
Quarterly Course List
When the UC San Diego Schedule of Classes for an upcoming quarter goes online, the Critical Gender Studies Program makes available a list of that quarter’s proposed CGS courses in addition to any departmental electives being offered. The quarterly list may be found on the CGS website.
The Critical Gender Studies Honors Program allows advanced critical gender studies majors to pursue individual projects in the context of collective intellectual exchange with their peers and advising faculty. Students are eligible if they a) have senior standing at the time they begin the program, and b) are approved by the critical gender studies faculty director and steering committee. Normally, students eligible for honors will have a 3.5 grade point average in upper-division courses taken for the major, but highly motivated students who do not meet this criterion may be admitted to the program at the discretion of the director and the critical gender studies steering committee.
In the fall quarter of their senior year, students take the Honors Seminar (CGS 190), taught by a member of the critical gender studies faculty. The first half of the quarter is devoted to intensive analysis and discussion of recent publications in the fields of gender and sexuality. During the second half of the quarter, each student develops a short thesis proposal and presents it for group discussion. After taking the Honors Seminar, each student registers for CGS 196A: Honors Research, four units of independent study with a faculty member associated with critical gender studies. With the guidance of this adviser, the student carries out background research for the thesis prospectus. In the spring quarter, students complete the thesis under the supervision of their thesis adviser in the CGS 196B: Honors Thesis course.
Students who complete the thesis with a grade of B+ or above and make an oral presentation have the words With Distinction added to the notation of the major on their diplomas and transcripts.
Double Major in Critical Gender Studies and Another Department or Program
Students who wish to major both in critical gender studies and in another department or program must fulfill all requirements for the critical gender studies major as described above. A student must submit a double major petition for approval to the participating departments and the student’s college advising office. Critical gender studies will accept up to two upper-division courses as overlap requirements for the two majors.
Critical Gender Studies Major Course Checklist
During advising sessions with the CGS faculty director or staff, critical gender studies majors make use of a checklist to determine how courses already taken fulfill the major’s requirements. An example of the checklist may be found on the CGS website.
Minor Program (and Program of Concentration)
Critical gender studies minors are required to complete Critical Gender Studies 2A-B, 100, and 101. In addition, minors are required to take three upper-division courses, two of which must be upper-division CGS courses, and one upper-division elective. Students who declare the critical gender studies minor (or program of concentration) with junior or senior standing may petition to substitute an upper-division CGS course or a departmental elective course of comparable content for Critical Gender Studies 2A or 2B. Critical gender studies permits one lower-division course and one upper-division course to be taken P/NP. College grading options vary. Please consult with college academic advisers and the critical gender studies adviser.
Special Studies, Internships, and Grade Options
Many critical gender studies majors and minors elect to do gender research under the rubrics of Directed Group Study (198), Independent Study (199), internships, and mentor programs. Because these courses can be taken only with a P/NP grade option, the number of such courses to be applied to the major should be carefully discussed with a critical gender studies adviser. Some graduate and professional schools will consider it easier to evaluate a student’s transcript if there are more letter grades. College guidelines and requirements for grade options also vary. Please see college academic advisers and the critical gender studies adviser.
Applicable and Petitionable Courses
Departmental courses available to CGS majors and minors fall into two categories. Applicable courses are those approved as always applying to the CGS major and minor. Petitionable courses are either new and therefore not yet approved as applicable or are “topics” courses that focus on gender only in particular quarters. Petitionable courses may be approved by petition to the major/minor during the quarters in which they appear in the CGS quarterly lists.
Each quarter, when the upcoming quarter’s Schedule of Classes is published, the critical gender studies quarterly list is available on the CGS website. It is an important, comprehensive source of information about CGS course offerings as well as those from departments throughout the campus. It identifies both applicable as well as petitionable courses for a given quarter. For reference, the CGS office and website maintain archives of quarterly lists.
Critical Gender Studies Applicable Courses
(Note: Only applicable courses are listed here. For petitionable courses, please see the quarterly lists.)
Social Science Courses
ANSC 125. Gender, Sexuality, and Society
COMM 108E. Politics of Bodies: Embodiment in Theory and Practice
COMM 108G. Politics of Bodies: Gender and Biomedicine
COMM 111P. Communication and Cultural Production: Performance and Cultural Studies
COMM 114E. Communication and Social Institutions: Gender, Labor, and Culture in the Global Economy
COMM 114G. Communication and Social Institutions: Gender and Science
COMM 137. Black Women Filmmakers
COMM 138. Black Women, Feminism, and Media
COMM 154. Popular Culture in Contemporary Life
COMM 167. Reproductive Discourse and Gender
ETHN 128. Hip Hop: The Politics of Culture
ETHN 129. Asian and Latina Immigrant Workers in the Global Economy
ETHN 165. Sex and Gender in African American Communities
ETHN 183. Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and Class
LIGN 174. Gender and Language in Society
POLI 104M. Law and Sex
POLI 115A. Gender and Politics
POLI 116A. Feminist Theory
PSYC 134. Eating Disorders
PSYC 172. The Psychology of Human Sexuality
SOCI 113. Sociology of the AIDS Epidemic
SOCI 116. Gender and Language in Society
SOCI 118. Sociology of Gender
SOCI 119. Sociology of Sexuality and Sexual Identities
SOCI 129. The Family
SOCI 132. Gender and Work
SOCI 139. Social Inequality: Class, Race, and Gender
SOCI 184. Gender and Film
Arts and Humanities Courses
HIEA 125. Women and Gender in East Asia
HIEA 137. Women and Family in Chinese History
HIEA 162/262. History of Women in China
HIEU 133. Gender in Antiquity and the Early Medieval Mediterranean
HIEU 147. The History of Women in Europe: Middle Ages to the Early Modern Era
HIEU 147A. Women in the Middle Ages
HIEU 148. European Women: The Enlightenment to the Victorian Era
HIEU 149. History of Women in Europe: 1870 to Present
HIEU 180. Topics in European Women’s History
HILA 124A. History of Women and Gender in Latin America
HILA 161. History of Women in Latin America
HILA 164. Women’s Work and Family Life in Latin America
HISC 103. Gender and Science in Historical Perspective
HISC 118. History of Sexology
HISC 167. Gender and Science
HITO 106. Love and Family in the Jewish Past
HIUS 115. History of Sexuality in the United States
HIUS 130. Cultural History from 1607 to the Civil War
HIUS 131. Cultural History from the Civil War to the Present
HIUS 156. American Women, American Womanhood
HIUS 157. American Women, American Womanhood 1870 to Present
HIUS 173. Topics in American Women’s History
HIUS 176. Race and Sexual Politics
LTAM 105. Gender and Sexuality in Latino/a Cultural Production
LTAM 106. Modern Chicana and Mexican Women Writings
LTCS 115. Performance Culture
LTCS 130. Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Class, and Culture
LTCS 131. Topics in Queer Cultures/Queer Subcultures
LTCS 132. Special Topics in Social Identities and the Media
LTCS 135. Interdisciplinary Approaches to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Studies
LTCS 172. Special Topics in Screening Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality
LTEA 143. Gender and Sexuality in Korean Literature and Culture
LTEN 120E. Women in the Eighteenth Century
LTEN 146. Women and English/American Literature
LTEN 150. Gender, Text, and Culture
LTEN 185. Themes in African American Literature
LTEU 147. Women in Italy
LTSP 175. Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
LTWL 102. Women in Antiquity
LTWL 155. Gender Studies
LTWL 160. Women and Literature
MUSIC 115. Women in Music
TDHT 112. Gay and Lesbian Themes in US Latino Theatre