Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Gustavus Adolphus College offers a major and a minor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. This interdisciplinary program examines gender and sexuality as cultural and social categories that organize and shape human experience.

Students will interrogate the social meanings of femininity, masculinity, sexual behavior, and desire as integral to the ways that groups and individuals construct their identities within and across a variety of historical, social, and cultural contexts. To this end, students will also examine the ways that gender and sexuality intersect with other categories of social difference such as race, class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, ability, and age. Students will explore such topics as constructions of femininity and masculinity, the history of feminism, gender roles and relations, and cultural configurations of sexual desire and identity in discussion-based classes.

Courses in the GWSS Program come from a variety of disciplines. A multidisciplinary approach will provide students with a foundation for thinking more broadly about categories of social difference and the various cultural and legal institutions that produce and sustain them. Students who successfully complete the program will be exposed to a wide array of methodologies regarding the history, theory, and practice of gender studies and will gain extensive experience with writing and research with a strong emphasis on information literacy.

In order to develop personal experiences with and perspectives on the workings of gender in Western and non-Western societies, the GWSS Program recommends that students consider off-campus (international or domestic) academic programs. The GWSS Program makes every effort to work with students in selecting courses from these programs that may be applied to the major or minor requirements. See for a complete list of available programs, or contact the Center for International and Cultural Education for a list of programs that would be particularly interesting to GWSS students.

In keeping with the mission of the College, students will be encouraged to orient these insights toward furthering the cause of social justice. 

Florence AmamotoProfessor Emerita507-933-7399web
Lori Carsen Kelly ’83Visiting Assistant Professor507-933-7172web
Thia CooperProfessor507-933-6296web
Whitney DirksVisiting Assistant Professor507-933-7692web
Darsa DonelanSenior Continuing Assistant Professorweb
Mary GaeblerAssociate Professor507-933-6290web
Lisa Heldke ’82Affiliated faculty507-933-7029web
Yurie HongProfessor507-933-7160web
Robert KendrickAssociate Professor and Co-chair507-933-6090
Martin LangAssociate Professor507-933-6899
Ursula LindqvistProfessor507-933-7422web
Maddalena MarinariAssociate Professor507-933-6152web
Sharon MarquartAssociate Professor and Program Director507-933-7388web
Carlos Mejia SuarezAssociate Professor507-933-7385web
Kjerstin Moody ’98Affiliate Faculty507-933-7423web
Darío Sánchez-GonzálezAssociate Professor507-933-7387web
Lai Sze TSOFaculty Affiliate507-933-6832web
Suzanne WilsonAssociate Professor507-933-7426web
Kate WittensteinProfessor Emeritus