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Gender and Body Studies Major

*This program is not accepting incoming students as new majors. The minor is open to all students.

The Gender and Body Studies Major and Minor intellectually ground students in the texts, theoretical frameworks, and cultural influences that define the scholarly disciplines of Gender and Body Studies.

Students in this program will become versed in and apply feminist and gender theories as they examine the range of cultural practices and social influences that shape our perceptions of gender, sexuality, and bodies.

The concepts of diversity, inclusivity, and disposition will inform many of the courses, as students explore cultural representations and social constructions of body image, race, class, gender, ability, and sexuality.

The purpose of this program is to expose students to the historical trajectory of Gender Studies and its impact on social justice issues in contemporary society and to encourage undergraduate research in the emerging area of Body Studies.

Through this reading and writing intensive program, students will become shrewd interpreters of culture and distinctive communicators in oral and written form. Students who pursue this major/minor will become critical and creative thinkers who are well-prepared for a variety of careers and graduate study.

Students in this program will also be able to participate in the National Undergraduate Body Image Conference that is hosted biennially at Cabrini.

Any student who wishes to declare a major or minor in Gender and Body Studies should see the Chair of the Department of English.

Requirements for the Major in Gender and Body Studies
(all courses 3 credits unless noted)

  • GBS 253 - Bodies of Literature
  • GBS 250 - Introduction to Body Studies
  • GBS 326 - Applied Instruction in Women’s Studies (1 credit)
  • GBS 338 - Feminist Theory and Gender Studies 
  • ENG 403 - Senior Capstone 

Total required credits: 13

Elective Courses - Select six courses in three different disciplines:

  • GBS 325 - Queer Theory
  • GBS 227 - Difficult Men: Masculinity and the Media
  • ENG 228 - Social Realism in Literature and the Media
  • ENG 290 - Literary Theory and Cultural Studies 
  • ENG 328 - Asian American Women Writers
  • GBS 329 - Women and Sexuality
  • H-ENG 330 - Theorizing Beauty in Literature and Culture
  • GBS 335 - Images of Women in Literature and Media
  • ENG 336 - African-American Women Writers
  • ENG 339 - Toni Morrison
  • GBS 341 - In My Body: The Beauty and Aesthetics of Body
  • ENG 201/301 - Special Topics in Literature 
    (must be approved by the English Department Chair)
  • HIS 419 - Women and History
  • PHI 275 - Philosophy of Women
  • PSY 280 - Media Influences and Psychological Development
  • REL 311 - Women in Religion and Society
  • SOW 211 - Skin Deep: Exposing Values in Beauty Culture

Recommended General Education Courses

  • BIO 177 - Health and the Human Body
  • BIO 173 - Genetics and Heredity

Total credits for major: 34

Learning Outcomes
Gender and Body Studies majors will:

  • demonstrate written and oral command of the English language that reflects its potential as a communicative, persuasive, and creative medium
  • demonstrate information literacy skills to find, retrieve, evaluate, and present information relevant to an issue or problem, using appropriate attribution
  • demonstrate the intersections and distinctions between Gender Studies, Women’s Studies, and Body Studies, and articulate the major historical moments within these fields
  • analyze texts using a variety of theoretical perspectives and approaches related to gender, feminist, and queer theories
  • analyze how societal institutions and power structures impact human experience based on individual sex, gender, and body
  • articulate connections between international, national, and local issues related to Gender and Body Studies and their relationship to human rights and social justice

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