Courses with LGBTQIA content | St. Lawrence University LGBTQIA Student Resources

Courses with LGBTQIA content

Below is list of courses offered at St. Lawrence University that have queer content in their curriculum. Not all classes will be offered each semester but to learn more please reach out to the faculty member listed. 

Course no. Course Name Course Description Faculty
PSYC3039/GNDR 3067 Psychology of Gender
This lecture course examines the complex role of social, cultural, psychological, evolutionary and biological processes involved in gender identity. By using an interdisciplinary approach, we will explore how gender identities are developed, expressed and perceived by others. Over the course of the semester we will discuss a variety of topics and issues, including: gender norms, gender as a social construct, trans and nonbinary gender identities, cultural differences in gender expression and expectations, prejudice and discrimination, mental and physical health outcomes related to gender, and intersections between race, gender, and sexuality. Our goal in this exploration will be to think critically about the influence of gender identity and gendered expectations on our everyday lived experiences, self-perceptions and relationships with others.
Megan Carpenter
PSYC 4014/ GNDR 4030 Seminar in Human Sexuality
This seminar course examines human sexual and gender identities, specifically those within the LGBTQ+ community. By using a biopsychosocial framework, we will examine how these identities are developed, expressed, and perceived by others. Importantly, while we will spend some time investigating research on the biological determinants of gender and sexuality, this course will emphasize the social and cultural factors involved in these identities. Over the course of the semester we will discuss a variety of topics and issues, including: non-heteronormative and non-cisgender identities, essentialism vs. identity fluidity/flexibility, intersectional identities, social perceptions, prejudice and discrimination, and mental and physical health outcomes related to minority stress.
Megan Carpenter
EDUC 3043 Why is Identity Important in Higher Education Depending on where you're from, you may or may not have been surrounded by people from different backgrounds before. In order to effectively engage across difference, you must know yourself and be open to knowing one another. As such, we will be engaging in two main activities in this course: 1) critically examining our own identities (who am I?), and 2) actively listening to others when they share their identities with us (who are you?). We will be reading several different accounts about identities (e.g., race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, mental health, etc.) that help us with both of these tasks. As well, we will be reading some educational research that will help us contextualize why these tasks are important and how we can continue this work at St. Lawrence University and beyond.  Jessica Sierk
EDUC 4006 Sexual Education The field of sexuality education can be examined through various disciplinary lenses, including but not limited to, law, journalism, religion, literature, and sociology. As such, this course will look at an array of sources, both scholarly and popular, to make sense of debates in the field. Students will deeply engage with issues of disability, heteronormativity, stigma, patriarchy, and morality, as they relate to sexuality education, from a variety of perspectives. Sexuality education is more than just learning about our body's biological and anatomical systems; there are deep historical, social, and cultural factors that influence this area of public health. Issues of diversity, equity, and positionality have profound effects on who is included and excluded from conversations about sexuality education. This course will push back on the status quo of sexuality education that has long excluded marginalized groups (e.g., the LGBTQ community, women, people with disabilities) in harmful, dehumanizing ways. Jessica Sierk
FRPG 2082 Is the hijab dangerous? Thinking about Islam, Gender, and Sexuality in the Middle East Feminist scholarship has long taught that “the personal is political.”  Nowhere, however, is this truer than in the contemporary Middle East, where gender rights, sexuality, and even the most basic elements of women’s clothing are all hotly contested and debated.  This class aims to explore why and how gender and sexuality have become so central to broader societal debates in the contemporary Middle East.  Why has the hijab, or head covering become so central to both Western and Middle Eastern discourses about women in the Middle East? How do gender identities change over time?  What does it mean to fight for LGBT or women’s rights in the context of a Middle Eastern society?  Student-led discussions will comprise a major component of the class and are aimed at allowing students to explore areas of interest as well as take a leadership role within the classroom.  The class will be research-based, but also include scholarship, films, and literature aimed at giving the student a sense of the sheer diversity of Middle Eastern experiences. Offered every spring.  
GOVT 108 Introduction to International Relations* Introduction to International Politics is a survey course intended to familiarize the student and practitioner to the theoretical foundations, structures, and contemporary problems of the discipline. Particular attention is given to the relationship between theory and practice. The course is broken into three sections. The first section introduces a selection of International Relations theories and demonstrates how they can shape our understanding of the world, and ultimately, how we interact with it. The second section focuses on the structures and processes that have become dominant in International Relations. Finally, the third section covers a range of contemporary international problems and how different theoretical frames affect our understanding and approaches to solutions to these problems. Zenel Garcia
GOVT 4060 Critical Security Studies What is security? Who or what is being secured and for and by whom? Who speaks security and who is silenced, ignored, or repressed from speaking? Is the state the appropriate (or only) referent object of security? These are the questions that we will explore as we assess the “critical turn” in security studies. Critical Security Studies introduces the student and practitioner to the theoretical debates in the sub-field. It is organized in three parts. The first section focuses on the evolution practice of security studies. The second focuses on the theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches for studying security critically. The third focuses on applying these theoretical lenses and methods to important contemporary issues like migration, terrorism, and technology. Zenel Garcia
ANTH 4020 Anthropology of the Body The body is a product of culture, a tableau upon which meaning and norms are inscribed. At the same time, the body is also the product of biology and the environment, a result of millions of years of evolutionary history. In this course, we will examine the various ways that anthropologists have studied the human body as a social, cultural, and biological construction. Cross-cultural comparisons will illustrate changes in our image of the body from conception to death, our association of the body with personal and group identity, how the body is a center of lived experience, struggle, and political inscription, and how we use and modify our bodies to communicate and interact with the world around us. Students will be pushed to think critically about what it means for a body to be “normal,” “healthy,” “able,” etc. and will be exposed to topics of contemporary interest such as the body as a commodity and as existing in a technological world. Mindy Pitre
AAH/GNDR 4009 Queer Theory and Representation This course will examine the radical rethinking of gender and sexuality known as queer theory. As queer theory is inherently interdisciplinary, we will be approaching topics from multiple perspectives, including those of literary, performance, and film studies, art history and criticism, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. We will begin with an examination of key foundational texts in queer theory, asking fundamental questions about the nature of gender and sexuality, including the extent to which they may be considered “natural” in the first place, and their relationships to systems of power.  We will use these insights, in turn, to explore such topics as gender performativity, trans identity, racial fetishism, and homonormativity in relation to a range of provocative artistic, journalistic, and political representations. Mark Denaci
SOC 239/FILM 240 Culture and Identity in the Digital Age In this 200-level sociology course, we ask: what does it mean to live in a networked world, where our offline lives are increasingly and irrevocably tied to digital spaces?  The popularity of phrases like “in real life” represents a common view of the physical world as something wholly distinct from and superior to the digital realm.  Still, the digital realm has proven to have very real consequences, which increasingly structure individuals’ opportunities and experiences in everyday life.  Beyond the vast array of viral posts and status-seeking influencers, the networked world provides seemingly endless opportunities for social interaction, identity construction, community building, and indeed, the (re)production of systemic inequalities and political polarization.  With these concerns in mind, this course will examine the role digital media and communication technologies play in the shaping of culture as well as the organization and maintenance of contemporary social life. Stephen Barnard
ND 3030 Raising Cultural Awareness Have you ever asked yourself the following questions: What does it mean to be an inclusive community? Why is it so difficult to talk about diversity? What does it mean to "risk difficulty and discomfort" to realize the goal of inclusion, and how do I do that? What can I do to engage meaningfully with those who are different from me? In Raising Cultural Awareness 101, we will explore these questions, and more, by talking directly and openly about issues such as race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental health/wellness, accessibility, socioeconomic status, religion/spirituality, microaggressions, implicit bias, and gender. We will use data from SLU's campus climate survey for diversity and inclusion to gain a better understanding of the experiences of members of our own community from different identity groups. For the final project, students will have hands-on experience demonstrating what they have learned by either being assigned to work with the Office for Admissions to support a diversity-related recruiting event, such as Celebration of Diversity, or by working with another campus office to develop a program to raise awareness and create practical programming for diversity and inclusion -related issues. Kimberly Flint-Hamilton & John O'Connor
GNDR 103 Gender and Society This interdisciplinary course examines how being male or female is translated into the social relationships of gender. It explores the ways gender roles, identities and institutions are constructed in relation to race, ethnicity, class and sexuality. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions and debates in Women's and Gender Studies, both historical and contemporary. Gender studies scholarship critically analyzes themes of gendered performance and power in a range of social spheres, such as education, law, culture, work, medicine and the family. This course integrates analysis of current events through student presentations, aiming to increase awareness of contemporary and historical experiences of women, and of the multiple ways that sex and gender interact with race, class, nationality and other social identities. Throughout the semester, we will "question gender" in multiple ways: a) why has gender been a primary organizing principle of society? b) How do "gendered scripts" for dress, appearance and behavior emerge among different social groups and in different societies and historical periods? c) How do we explain the sexual division of labor and the unequal social status of women and girls and those activities and roles deemed "feminine" in society? d) In what ways does gender intersect with race, ethnicity and sexuality? f) How do gendered structures of power and authority operate? g) What factors contribute to the formation and success of movements for and against gender equality and fluidity? H) Can we imagine a future in which we largely ignore gender or envision gender and sexuality in more expansive, fluid or egalitarian ways?
 [Offered every semester.]
Mahrou Zhaf
GNDR 318 Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East Gender constructs cultural, political, and socio-economic relations across class and racial lines in the West and throughout the rest of the world, although the concepts and structures that define gender roles can differ significantly. The aim of this course is to offer an overview of the key issues in the study of gender in the Middle East. It will provide a specific area focus for students of gender and global studies while providing a gendered understanding of prevailing discourses, ideologies, social practices, and trends for those students interested in Middle East societies, laws and politics. The course is interdisciplinary in scope; therefore the readings and theoretical underpinnings rang from history and sociology to anthropology, political science, and media studies, including contracting movies and documentaries made in the Middle East and those made in the West about the Middle East. Mahrou Zhaf
GNDR 301 Theorizing Masculinity Through Movies This course explores the meaning of masculinity and how maleness is gendered by looking at representation and construction of masculinity in different movies. There is not one version of masculinity but rather multiple masculinities influenced by gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, sexuality, disability, religion and subcultures. As such, we will be conducting an intersectional exploration into how masculinity is embodied and lived out in culture and cultural products which in this course is film. The system of masculinity and its dominant form are also not created in isolation. We will explore how notions of femininity interact and influence masculinity and vice versa. The course is interdisciplinary and students will watch 24 movies through the semester to aid examining theories. Exploring on how masculinity is formed, maintained, and represented in movies would be part of assignments. Mahrou Zhaf
GNDR 4020 Gender, Film and the Unconscious Talking about dreams is like talking about movies since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second, and you can hop from one place to another. It is a language made of the image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream." So what can cinema tell us about the unconscious processes of the human mind, and what can such understanding do to aid our gender analysis? This class views cinematic attempts to illustrate unconscious human psychology, including dreams, motivations, repetition compulsion, castration anxiety, and other psychodynamic processes, as they manifest in the intersubjective field, defined in narrative cinematic arcs. We will then attempt to relate them to gendered analytic concepts so that they can become useful sources of knowledge about feminism. The course focuses on the ability to unpack unconscious dynamics in a film as it is done in psychoanalysis. Mahrou Zhaf
GNDR 352 Transnational Fem Activism This course examines social, economic, political and cultural projects throughout the world organized by women to address the concerns of women. We investigate specific groups that identify themselves as feminist as well as the various feminisms that define them. Equally important are those groups that reject or challenge the label of feminism as a Western and therefore imperialist or neoimperialist ideology and present alternatives for women’s collective action. Finally, we explore the possibilities and practices of transnational or women’s global activism by participating in a community-based learning project with a local organization engaged in feminist activism. Mahrou Zhaf
GNDR 290 Gender and Feminist Theory

In this seminar students will learn to:

Explore the question of gender and sexuality and its relationship to race, class and global location through four feminist paradigms: Critical Race, Materialist, Poststructuralist, Queer and Psychoanalytic; Learn how to read and think theoretically; Demonstrate their ability to critically read and interpret literature, film and contemporary cultural issues; Increase their capacity for critical self-reflection on social location and understand its epistemological, social and political implications (standpoint epistemology); Learn to use an intersectional approach to explore power, difference and social location;Engage in productive collaboration with groups both in and outside of class; Illustrate increasing clarity and sophistication in both written and oral communication skills.

Mahrou Zhaf
GNDR 3002 Gender, Sexuality and the Media This course provides an introduction to the theories and concepts underpinning the study of contemporary media. You will examine key areas of knowledge, theoretical and critical models and current developments in technology and its application, drawing on examples from press media, television and the cinema.(could be from Iran, Middle east or western countries) Topics include: *Media representation *The media and LGBTQ *Pornography *Analysis of film and television genres Mahrou Zhaf

*This course is offered by a variety of professors and therefore not all GOVT 108 courses may have this as part of the curriculum.