Reading Schedule

Schedule of Readings

If a link is ever broken, first try to find it in the folder of all GSS 101 PDFs

Link to master file of all PPT slides used in class (will be updated after each class).

{Click a link below to jump to that week’s reading assignments}

8/23  WEEK 1
8/30 WEEK 2
9/6 WEEK 3
9/13 WEEK 4
9/20 WEEK 5
9/27 WEEK 6
10/4 WEEK 7
10/11 WEEK 8
10/25 WEEK 9
11/1 WEEK 10
11/8 WEEK 11
11/15 WEEK 12
11/29 WEEK 13
12/6 WEEK 14

12/13 Week 15

8/23 WEEK 1

UNIT: Gender

Key Questions and Terms: What is gender? What is transgender? How has gender been constructed socially over time? How do media, images, texts construct gender? How do gender and transgender intersect with race and class and sexuality? What does Butler mean by “gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original”?


Introduction to the course and each other

Setting shared values and guidelines for discussion

*Vote to use Twitter, Instagram, or Discord*


Community norms setting and syllabus Q&A


Jordan-Young, Brain Storm selections (2010) [Read the Preface and the entire Introduction.]

Lorber, “‘Night to His Day‘: Social Construction of Gender” (1994)

Read through Introduction and Policies, Assignments, Grading, Office Hours, Resources on Campus, and Community Norms above. Bring Questions to class; I will stay a few minutes after to answer them. (My apologies; I had made this edit on this page before, but I must have closed the window before saving because it did not appear.)

8/30 WEEK 2

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


NB. For the grading specifications bundles, start counting your absences, and comments in class/on Discord, today.

Three to Infinity: Beyond Two Genders (2015). [Stream for $4.99 on Vimeo or watch it for free in the library, which may require coordination]

Watch Disclosure (2020) on Netflix [Coordinate with classmates or try a trial subscription.]

Start Kate Bornstein workbook.

Think about community norms, re-read them, and offer edits, comments, and/or additions here.


Kate Bornstein, selections from My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex (2013)

Read through the AMA questions and my comments here. Answer any questions you feel able to answer by adding your own non-anonymous answers or follow-up questions in the Google comments. Add any additional anonymous questions to the SLIDO here.

Join GSS 101 Discord group:


Start Unit: Sexuality

Key Questions and Terms: What is sexuality? When and how were the words and concepts homo- and heterosexuality invented? What is the “repressive hypothesis”? What is the relationship between capitalism and the ways that our lives and identities are organized? What is “compulsory heterosexuality” (Adrienne Rich)? What is “heteronormativity” (Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner)?

John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and Gay Identity” (1983)

9/6  WEEK 3


Jonathan Ned Katz, selections from The Invention of Heterosexuality (1995)

Leila Rupp, “Toward a Global History of Same-Sex Sexuality” (2001) [Skim to extract the key argument and three key examples of same-sex sexuality across time and place that strike you as important and/or relate to other readings.]

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Barker and Scheele, Queer: A Graphic History (2016), pp. 1-50 (page #s referenced here are from the linked e-book available through Davidson library; pagination is different in the physical book)


Michel Foucault, selections from The History of Sexuality (1979) [Broken link corrected. This is dense reading; it may be language unlike anything you have read before.]

  • Read enough to produce answers to the following questions, with examples:
    • What is the repressive hypothesis?
    • What is the “incitement to discourse”?
    • How do Foucault’s arguments relate to D’Emilio’s arguments?
    • Select a particularly dense cluster of 2-5 sentences that you think would be worth reading closely with the class because they seem crucial to the main argument.

9/13 WEEK 4

Unit: Bodies, Ads, and Fat Studies

Key Questions and Terms: How does size intersect with gender, sexuality, and/or race? What research grounds the body positivity movement? What is HAES? How might we distinguish between evidence-based interpretations of fatness and biased perspectives on fat? How might we understand make-up, hygiene products, and toiletries in a Foucauldian framework? Why do we believe we need the vast number of personal hygiene products marketed toward us in profoundly gendered ways? What is fat-shaming and what informs social hatred of fat people?

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Review Foucault PPT. (I keep all the slides in one PPT. Start with slide 81.)

Jean Kilbourne, TED Talk on Killing Us Softly IV: Advertising Images of Women (2014) 15 minutes

Marilyn Wann, foreward to The Fat Studies Reader (2009)

Virgie Tovar, TEDx Talk on Lose Hate not Weight (2017) 14:41 minutes and short video on the difference between fat activism and body positivity (2018).

Start Reading Deb Burgard, “What is Health at Every Size?” (2014)


Skim this Jezebel article about the history of deodorants and read this Everyday Feminism article on what diets and deodorants have in common.

Deb Burgard, “What is Health at Every Size?” (2014)

Read Alok Menon’s book report on women with mustaches: gender and imperialism and on the racist history of body hair removal. Click through the images/slides until the end; each one is pretty short. Take note of any books that might interest you for your book report; Menon’s book reports will mention several scholarly monographs you may be interested in.

[Optional Pope et al, selections from The Adonis Complex (2020).]

Google and check out on social media: Sonya Renee Taylor and Caleb Luna


Choose whether you will participate in the No-Product Day Challenge

  • Check out the related Token at the bottom of the Grading page.

Media Analysis workshop:

9/20 WEEK 5: Feminism’s First Wave

Key Questions and Terms: When was the term “feminism” coined? What is first-wave feminism? What is suffrage?What is the significance of the Seneca Falls Convention? How did early feminists’ political priorities differ according to their race, gender, and class? How have black women been silenced in common representations of the first wave?

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Look up:

  • Seneca Falls Convention in order to understand its significance.
  • Look up Elizabeth Cady Stanton (main author of the Declaration) and Susan B. Anthony.
  • When “feminism” was coined

View Alok Menon’s book report on how women fought for the right to wear pants

Women’s Rights Convention, held at Seneca Falls, “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” (1848) [Read all Notes and addendum at the end]


Q & A with current GSS majors who will visit class. Read their bios.

  • On Wednesday 9/22 at 10:50am, these seniors will visit GSS 101 in Watson 147 for a Q&A
  • Please familiarize yourself with the bios that the students will fill out by Monday night.
  • View this PPT of some GSS alumni’s thoughts on the major and their careers.
  • Prepare at least one question for each senior major.
  • During class, you will discuss the timing and differences between first- and second-wave feminism.

Read Anna Julia Cooper, her bio and selections from A Voice from the South (1892)
[Only read the Cooper in this PDF, not the Cady Stanton]

  • Prepare your argument summary for the Cooper reading


Angela Davis, “Working Women, Black Women, and the History of the Suffrage Movement” [Focus on highlighted portions.]

Peruse Alok Menon’s book report on how “nature” was used to oppress women and reflect on how the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions (1848) revises this conception of “nature”.

*Final Media Analysis due Saturday 9/24 by 4pm, published here on the blog*

9/27 WEEK 6:

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Select one student’s media analysis blog post that does not yet have a comment, and write a comment. If all have comments already, you may add a second comment to one post.

Luisa Capetillo, selections from A Nation of Women (1910s) and her bio


The Second Wave

Key Questions and Terms: What is the second wave of feminism? What voices were centered in the second wave and which were marginalized, silenced, or overshadowed? Are there any dangers to narrating history as progress? How might we re-write and complicate feminist narratives of progress?

Betty Friedan, selections from Feminine Mystique (1963)

bell hooks, “Black Women Shaping Feminist Theory” in Feminist Theory from Margin to Center (1984)

10 Things American Women Could Not Do Before the 1970s

Friday 10/1 NO CLASS-Fall Break 2021

10/4 WEEK 7

Committee on the Status of Women in India, “Towards Equality” (India, 1974)

Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, selections from Our Bodies, Our Selves (1971)

Peruse the contemporary Our Bodies site as well

The Gay Rights’ Movement and the Third Wave

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)

Key Questions and Terms: How do the readings demonstrate a split between more radical, anti-capitalist gay liberationist thought and activism that was more focused on creating safety for LGBTQ people via assimilation and pro-business policies (e.g. gay-owned bars)? How does Gould define the “heroic narrative” that emerged out of the “emotional habitus” of the early AIDs crisis and how did it impact activism? How do we explain the erasure of the more radical elements of early gay liberationist thought from contemporary mainstream LGBTQ activism, especially when factoring in Gould’s arguments? How does Gould help us understand contemporary gay respectability politics?


Watch CBS’ documentary The Homosexuals (1967) and then research the terms “homonationalism” (Jasbir Puar), “homonormativity” (trans activists and Lisa Duggan), “neoliberalism” (Lisa Duggan), and “homocapitalism.” Be prepared to define these terms and summarize what has changed in the cultural representations and social status of homosexuality from 1967 to today, with at least two real-life examples.

Get a head start on reading for Wednesday and Friday.

Complete the following for your Book Review: 1.) review the instructions, rubric, and guidelines, including the ones that are linked; 2.) make a timeline for note-taking, outlining, drafting, and revising your review (due 10/30) if you have not already done so;  3.) e-mail me, if you have not already done so, to get approval for your book; and 4.) spend a full five minutes free-writing, non-stop, about your thoughts on your book.


Anonymous, “Queers Read This” (1990)

Documents from the 1969 Furor. [Early gay liberation flyers and manifestos, and

the emergence of the Gay Liberation Front in July 1969.] {Skim this reading}

Deborah Gould, selections from Moving Politics: Emotion and ACT UPs Fight Against Aids (2009) [Do not read the whole thing; Read enough to be able to summarize the main argument (overall, and of each chapter), with 3-4 key examples]

Pat Parker, “For Straight Folks Who Don’t Mind Gays But Wish They Weren’t So Blatant – Pat Parker” (1976)



10/11 Week 8


Susan Faludi, “Blame It on Feminism” (1991) [Read enough to summarize the main points]

Kathleen Hanna, “Riot Grrl Manifesto” (1991) [Look up images related to 1990s Riot Grrrl culture]

Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner The Thirteen Point Agenda from Manifesta (2000)

Michelle Jensen, Review of Baumgardner & Richards, Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future (2000)


Book Review Workshop: bring a draft of 500 words for peer editing



10/17 WEEK 9: Intersectionality and WoC Feminisms 

Key Terms & Questions: What is intersectionality? What is Womanism and why do some people use it as an alternative to feminism? How do we explain the general trend among feminists and LGBTQ thinkers and activists to create new terms and re-signify existing terms as part of their political and personal projects?

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)

Alice Walker, “Definition of a Womanist” (1983)

Combahee River Collective: A Black Feminist Statement” (1977)

Poetry and short stories by Cherríe Moraga, Nellie Wong, Mary Hope Lee, Rosario Morales, Chrystos, and Naomi Littlebear from This Bridge Called My Back, edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga (1981)


Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Why Intersectionality Cannot Wait” (2015) [Also read the “primer” on intersectionality linked to at the beginning of the short article]

Website on Georgia Douglas Johnson by Davidson students, page on intersectionality.

Patricia Hill Collins, “Controlling Images and Black Women’s Oppression” (1991)


Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege and Male Privilege” (1988)

Take three IATs from Harvard’s Project Implicit (take first the Race IAT, then the Gender-Career IAT, plus at least one more of your choice related to our class. Your results are intended for you; you are not expected to discuss your individual results in class. Note the ways that the research’s limitations are framed, and note also the relatively more definitive finding stated for the Race IAT.)

Workshop: Intersections of privileges and oppressions

10/25 WEEK 10: Queer of Color & Non-Western Critique

Key Questions & Terms: In what ways have feminist thought and queer theory in the U.S. been excessively anglo- and white-centric? What are the weaknesses and costs of white-and anglo-centric feminist and queer thought? How have feminist arguments been used to support imperialist and racist political projects, particularly in non-Western contexts?

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Michael Hames García, “Queer Theory Revisted


Student with last names ending in A-M will read the following article, and come to class prepared to summarize, for students who have not read it, the article’s engagement with other pieces of scholarship, main arguments, and key evidence, with at least 1-2 key examples in each category: Lila Abu-Lughod, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others” (2002)

Student with last names ending in N-Z will read the following article, and come to class prepared to summarize, for students who have not read it, the article’s engagement with other pieces of scholarship, main arguments, and key evidence, with at least 1-2 key examples in each category: Uma Narayan, “Contesting Cultures: Westernization, Respect for Cultures and Third World Women” (1997)


Participation Quiz (self-graded): To prepare for the participation quiz (part of your participation grade), go back through weeks 1-9 and check how well you are prepared to answer and identify the Key Questions & Terms listed for each unit. Fill in any gaps in your knowledge by reviewing readings and your class notes. Powerpoints used in class are in the Dropbox folder for your reference, but note that some Powerpoint files contain several days worth of slides.

Finalize your book review and turn it in by Saturday, 10/30, on the blog, by 6pm. (Nb. See the Introduction and Policies page for Late Assignments Policy.)

11/1 WEEK 11: Feminist Science Studies

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)

Key Questions & Terms: What have GSS scholars revealed about the ways that scientific studies can and do unthinkingly reproduce social biases about gender and sexuality?


Suzanna Danuta Walters, “You Say Nature, I Say Nurture… Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” (2014)


Student with last names ending in A-M will read the following article, and come to class prepared to summarize, for students who have not read it, the article’s engagement with other pieces of scholarship, main arguments, and key evidence, with at least 1-2 key examples in each category: Emily Martin, “The Egg and the Sperm: How Science has constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles” (1991)

Student with last names ending in N-Z will read the following article, and come to class prepared to summarize, for students who have not read it, the article’s engagement with other pieces of scholarship, main arguments, and key evidence, with at least 1-2 key examples in each category: Noël Sturgeon, “Penguin Family Values: The Nature of Planetary Environmental Justice” (2010)


Workshop on Student-Chosen Topic: Hook-Up and Rape Cultures

  • Download the Kindle app for your browser or smartphone and read the sample of Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele (NB. The Amazon preview is not as complete as the Kindle sample, and you need the sample.) Consider the following questions: How do “identity contingencies” and “stereotype threat” impact you in GSS, and how do they impact our conversations in class? How do these categories intersect with the privileges and oppressions you identified in the previous workshop?
  • Read a previous student’s Book Review on Kathleen Bogle’s Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationship On Campus (2008).
  • Read 1.) Everyday Feminism article by Shannon Ridgway and 2.) article on examples of rape culture in Trump’s public statements by Arwa Mahdawi in the Guardian.
  • Consider the following question: In what ways might a sex positive outlook, one that promotes sex as a pleasurable activity for those who desire it  and for those who actively consent to it, help combat rape culture? Should we use the language of “bodily autonomy” as a stronger alternative to “sex positivity”?
  • Read through all posts/articles linked to above.

* Recommendation: Sign up for Office Hours if you have any questions about the Grant (from Theory to Praxis) Assignment, or the self-assessment, or grading bundles.

11/8 WEEK 12: Health and Reproductive Justice

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Entry on Feminist Perspectives on Reproduction and the Family

Research Roe v. Wade, second-wave feminist perspectives on feminism, current feminist pro-choice political agendas, and why pro-life feminism is considered a fringe, non-mainstream feminism. [Do not limit your research to these links.]

Everyday Feminism, 3 Unethical Ways Medical and Nursing Students Are Taught to Do Pelvic Exams

Jael Silliman et al., “Women of Color and Their Struggle for Reproductive Justice” (2004)

Watch When Abortion Illegal (28 mins)


Watch The Business of Being Born (2008), documentary about how childbirth is medicalized in the US and  Trapped (2016) documentary on the laws restricting access to abortions. [Both available on Netflix]

11/13 Feminist Mix Tape Due

11/15 WEEK 13: The Meaning of Marriage

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)


Get a head start on reading for Wednesday.

We will have a workshop on stereotype threat and our classroom dynamic, prompted by the conversation on our FB page. Download the Socrative Student app, which will allow us to share anonymous responses during our workshop. You may use it on your computer or smart phone. Open the installed app and enter our Room Code: Gonzalez1171


Read Socrative results (e-mailed to you and also in six files in the  PDFs folder that begin with “Socrative”).

Finish the Polikoff and Coontz readings we will discuss Friday (below).


Last names A-N read and be prepared to explain: Kenyan Farrow “Is Gay Marriage Anti-Black?”

Last names M-Z read and be prepared to explain: Marlon M. Bailey, Priya Kandaswamy, Mattie Udora Richardson “Is Gay Marriage Racist?”

Nancy Polikoff, selections from Beyond (Gay and Straight) Marriage: Valuing All Families under the Law   (2008) [Skim the Intro. and read Chapter 1 pp. 11-33]

Stephanie Coontz, selections from Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage [a longer reading, but easy to get through quickly, as it’s far from dense.]

11/22 WEEK 14: Thanksgiving Break

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)

Monday 11/22: Asynchronous class assignment; class will not be held in person.

Wednesday and Friday: NO CLASS

11/29 WEEK 15: Flexible Days (there will be no in-person class meetings)

Complete final self reflection and email to me

Complete Theory to Praxis Grant Assignment and post on the blog

December 10: Students will choose their own final due dates; but all work is due by 12/10.

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)

Below the jump are readings and units removed for Fall 2021.

Critical Prison Studies and Lit Reviews

Monday 11/28

Watch 13th on Netflix. [As you watch the full-length documentary, think about how a GSS critical lens may have taken the documentary narrative in new directions.]

Elias Walker Vitulli, “Queering the Carceral” [As you read the review essay, think about its form, and what it might teach you about approaching your own Lit Review. Also, revisit the question of how a GSS critical lens may have taken the documentary narrative in new directions.]

Wednesday 11/30

Workshop “What is a Woman?, chosen by Facebook poll.

What is a woman? Safe vs. Exclusionary spaces. Find, read, and bring to class 1-2 online articles on the controversies surrounding the admittance of trans people into spaces like women’s colleges and women’s music festivals, as well as the conversation on our Media Sharing FB group on the new app Her.

Friday 12/2

Student Presentations: Prepare a brief, 60-second speech summarizing  the Lit Review you are working on. Besides summarizing succinctly the field or sub-field your Lit Review addresses, also include an example of something new and/or surprising that you learned doing it. Practice your speech and make sure it is no longer than 1 minute.

Students will write down questions during the presentations but hold them for Monday.

12/5 WEEK 15: Conclusions

Monday 12/5: Conclusions


Browse articles from Against Equality; Feministing; and Wear Your Voice. Pick one that relates to something that you learned in GSS 101 for the very first time, particularly an idea that surprised you, led you to shift your understanding of some aspect of our world. Be prepared to briefly summarize the article and how it relates to your learning in class.

Read through the list of Learning Goals, as well as the Assignments, on the syllabus and make a list of what you have learned this semester in GSS 101.

Wednesday 12/7

Reading Day: Thursday 12/8

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)

Readings on hold:

Workshop on Free Speech and Hate Speech.

Research: What forms of speech are protected by the first amendment? What is hate speech, and is it protected by the first amendment? What sorts of arguments does MY make, and what sort of evidence does he use? How does he frame his own gay identity and sexual practices? What are his stated political goals? What are some examples drawn from his writing/speaking that can be considered “hate speech”? Think about what you consider to be an ideal response to hate speech in general, and his in particular.

Barker and Scheele, Queer: A Graphic History (2016), pp. 55-59, 102-133 (page #s referenced here are from the linked e-book; pagination is different in the physical book)

Sharon Marcus, selections from Between Women: Friendship, Desire, and Marriage in Victorian England   (2007) [Focus on the introduction; glean the gist and extract key evidence from Ch. 1 without reading it in full unless you have time.]

Riki Wilchins, selections from Queer Theory, Gender Theory (2004)

Eli Clare, selections from Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness and Liberation (1999)

Michael Cobb, introduction to  Single: Arguments for the Uncoupled (2012) [Skim and read for main argument]

Michael Warner, selections from The Trouble with Normal (1999)

Anne Fausto-Sterling, “The Five Sexes Revisited” (2000) and selections from Sexing the Body (2000)

[Optional] Anne Fausto-Sterling, “The Five Sexes” (1993)

Look up “compulsory heterosexuality” (Adrienne Rich) and “heteronormativity” (Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner) and be prepared to discuss their meanings.

Start Unit on Early Theories of Gender Difference and Proto-Feminisms

Key Questions and Terms: What access did women in the 17th century have to education, and how did class determine their access? How did 17th century women argue for women’s right to education and what common ideas were they arguing against? Is it anachronistic to talk about “feminism” before the 20th century? What is proto-feminism? Is it anachronistic to talk about “proto-feminism”? What is “just reading” according to Marcus?

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, “The Reply to Sor Philotea” (1691) [Before reading, look up who “Sor Filotea” was (and was not)]

Alice Sowal, “On Mary Astell’s Serious Proposal: Mind, Method, Custom” [Read enough to get a general sense of Astell’s text as well as Sowal’s general argument]

Unit: Disability Studies

Key Questions & Terms: How do disability studies intersect with the queer, gender, and fat studies we have learned about?

Robert McRuer, “Compulsory Able-Bodiedness and Queer/Disabled Existence” (2006)


Carol Hanisch, “The Personal is Political” (1969)

(Jump back to weekly scheduled readings)