Gender, Sexuality, & Race Studies

253.535.8227 www.plu.edu/gender-sexuality-race/ gsrs@plu.edu
Jennifer James, Ph.D., Chair

womens-studiesThe Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies (GSRS) program at PLU provides students with an innovative curriculum that examines how gender, sexuality, and race are embedded in complex dynamics of power and resistance, offers intersectional and interdisciplinary ways to understand identities and imagine new configurations of power, and provides students with opportunities to develop skills that will prepare them to pursue social justice and work in diverse communities. Accordingly, GSRS graduates will be able to solve problems in diverse environments, work effectively across difference, and lead from an equity mindset, some of the most important skills and abilities desired by employers.

The gender, sexuality, and race studies major is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. Conferral of a baccalaureate degree with a major in gender, sexuality, and race studies requires completion of a complementary major or minor from any department or program in the University.

PLU hosts a chapter of Iota Iota Iota (Triota) Gender and Sexuality Studies Honor Society. Eligible students meet the following criteria: (1) completion of at least 60 semester hours, (2) a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA at the time of initiation, and (3) a demonstrated academic interest in Gender and Sexuality Studies, as evidenced by being a declared GSRS major or declared Gender & Sexuality Studies minor or having completed at least three courses that meet GSRS major and GS minor requirements (including courses offered by GSRS and courses offered by other programs that have been approved as GSRS electives).

Bachelor of Arts Degree

Major in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies
36 semester hours

GSRS Core 
16 semester hours

  • GSRS 201: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies (4)
    • Offered every semester
  • GSRS 301: Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Race (4)
    • Offered every Fall semester
  • One course from the following:
    • HGST 200: Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide Studies (4)
    • NAIS 250: Introduction to Native American and Indigenous Studies (4)
    • LTST 241: Introduction to Latino Studies (4)
  • GSRS 499: Senior Capstone (4)
    • Offered every Spring semester

Electives
20 additional semester hours

  • must be selected from GSRS special topic courses or list of GSRS-approved elective courses (see list below);
  • must include at least 8 hours in the Gender and Sexuality (GS) distribution
  • must include at least 8 hours in the Critical Race Studies (CR) distribution
  • must include at least 12 hours of upper-division (300- or 400-level) coursework
  • must be selected from at least three departments or programs
  • Courses that are not on the approved list, from any discipline, for which at least 60% of the assignments center on women, feminism, gender, race, and/or sexuality may also count for the GSRS major. This allows the integration of gender, sexuality, and race studies perspectives into courses that are not explicitly or entirely structured around those perspectives. Students should consult the GSRS chair about this option before the course begins (when possible) and provide syllabi and assignments to the GSRS Executive Committee for approval upon completion of the course.

Additional GSRS Major Requirement

  • A complementary major or minor in another department or program.

Minor in Gender and Sexuality Studies
20 semester hours, including:

  • GSRS 201: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies (4)
    • Offered every semester
  • GSRS 301: Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Race (4)
    • Offered every Fall semester
  • 12 additional semester hours
    • must be selected from GSRS special topics courses or from list of GSRS-approved elective courses
    • must include at least 8 hours in the Gender and Sexuality (GS) distribution
    • must be selected from at least two departments or programs
    • must include at least 8 hours of upper-division (300- or 400-level) coursework
    • Courses that are not on the approved list, from any discipline, for which at least 60% of the assignments center on women, feminism, gender, and/or sexuality may also count for the Gender and Sexuality Studies minor. This allows the integration of Gender & Sexuality Studies perspectives into courses that are not explicitly or entirely structured around those perspectives. Students should consult the GSRS chair about this option before the course begins (when possible) and provide syllabi and assignments to the GSRS Executive Committee for approval upon completion of the course.

Minor in Critical Race Studies
20 semester hours, including:

  • GSRS 201: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies (4)
    • Offered every semester
  • GSRS 301: Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Race (4)
    • Offered every Fall semester
  • 12 additional semester hours
    • must be selected from GSRS special topics courses or from list of GSRS-approved elective courses
    • must include at least 8 hours in the Critical Race Studies (CR) distribution
    • must be selected from at least two departments or programs
    • must include at least 8 hours of upper-division (300- or 400-level) coursework
    • Courses that are not on the approved list, from any discipline, for which at least 60% of the assignments center on the critical study of race may also count for the Critical Race Studies minor. This allows the integration of Critical Race Studies perspectives into courses that are not explicitly or entirely structured around those perspectives. Students should consult the GSRS chair about this option before the course begins (when possible) and provide syllabi and assignments to the GSRS Executive Committee for approval upon completion of the course.

 

Because of their shared core courses, students may not double-minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Critical Race Studies. Majors in Gender, Sexuality, & Race Studies may not minor in either Gender & Sexuality Studies or Critical Race Studies for the same reason.

GSRS Approved Elective Courses - Gender & Sexuality Distribution

  • ARTD 490: Gender and Art
  • BIOL 287/387/389 when taught as “Biological Effects of Sex & Gender”
  • COMA 303: Gender and Communication
  • ENGL 217 when taught as “Queer American Literature:
  • ENGL 232: Women’s Literature
  • ENGL 300 when taught as “Gender Literacies”
  • ENGL 348 when taught as “19th Century American Women Writers”; “Anne Frank: Holocaust Icon”
  • ENGL 397: Sex, Gender, and the Holocaust
  • ENGL 395: Studies in Literature, Gender, and Sexuality
  • FREN 306/406: French and Francophone Feminisms
  • HISP 433 when taught as “politics and Gender Identities in Contemporary Southern-Cone Narrative and Cinema”
  • HIST 289 when taught as “Women in World History”
  • KINS 315: Body Image
  • RELI 330 when taught as “Sex and the Bible”
  • RELI 366 when taught as “Race, Gender, American Christianity”
  • RELI 368: Feminist, Womanist, Latinx, and Queer Theologies
  • RELI 390 when taught as “Women in the Ancient World”
  • PSYC 375: Psychology of Women
  • SOCI 210: Gender and Society
  • SOCI 494: Gender and Violence

GSRS Approved Elective Courses - Critical Race Studies Distribution

  • COMA 304: Intercultural Communication
  • ENGL 216 when taught as “Literature of the Raj”
  • ENGL 217 when taught as “Asian-American Literature”; “Civil Disobedience: American Protest Literature of Race and Justice”
  • ENGL 380 when taught as “Global Refugee Literature”
  • IHON 112: Liberty, Power, and Imagination
  • NAIS 363: Race and Indigeneity
  • POLS 288 when taught as “Latino Experience in America”
  • POLS 365: Racial and Ethnic Politics
  • POLS 370: Prisons & Prisoners
  • PSYC 335: Cultural Psychology
  • PSYC 387 when taught as “Race, Anti-Racism, and Child Development”
  • RELI 236: Native American Religious Traditions
  • RELI 240: African-American Religious Traditions
  • RELI 241: Islam in America
  • RELI 397: Indigenous Religions and Culture of the Pacific Northwest
  • SOCI 332: Race and Racism
  • SOCI 387 when taught as “Race, Class, Gender, and Crime”
  • SOCI 410: Social Stratification

Gender, Sexuality, & Race Studies (GSRS) - Undergraduate Courses

GSRS 190 : FYEP190: Inquiry Seminar

A four-credit seminar to introduce students to the methods and topics of study within a particular academic discipline or field. Students practice the academic skills that are at the center of the General Education Program. (4)

GSRS 201 : Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies - A

An interdisciplinary introduction to the concepts, themes, topics, and methods that are central to the study of gender, sexuality, race, and their relationship to other identity categories. Central concepts include knowledge production, the social construction of identity, theories of intersectionality, reflecting on power and privilege, and experimenting with different aspects of praxis and activism. Open to all students; required for GSRS majors and minors. (4)

GSRS 287 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 288 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 289 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 301 : Theories of Gender, Sexuality, and Race

This course explores theories of gender, sexuality, and race from global and intersectional perspectives. Students will also examine the interdisciplinary applications of such theories as well as their relevance to social justice movements and activist work. Prerequisites: GSRS 201, major/minor status, or permission of instructor; required for GSRS majors and minors. (4)

GSRS 387 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 388 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 389 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 487 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 488 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 489 : Special Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies

To provide undergraduate students with new, one-time, and developing courses not yet available in the regular curriculum. The title will be listed on the student term-based record as ST: followed by the specific title designated by the academic unit. (1 to 4)

GSRS 491 : Independent Study

Readings, research projects, or service learning projects in areas of issues of gender, sexuality, and race studies, under the supervision of a faculty member. (1 to 4)

GSRS 495 : Internship

A pragmatic, employer-based experience in which students apply knowledge already acquired, build competence, and test values in settings like those in which they may seek employment. Internships require the approval of a GSRS faculty member who will supervise the work of the agency or organization supervisor who will directly supervise the student. (1 to 4)

GSRS 499 : Senior Capstone

During their culminating seminar, Gender, Sexuality, and Race Studies majors will develop an academic project that applies theories of gender, sexuality, and/or race and feminist, queer, and/or anti-racist methodologies to their experiences in a community-based practicum. Prerequisites: GSRS 301, major status, or permission of instructor. Students are advised to have completed at least twelve hours of cross-listed coursework counting towards the GSRS major in addition to GSRS prerequisites. (4)