PROPOSAL

FOR A

 

CERTIFICATE-GRANTING PROGRAM or MINOR

IN

THE STUDY OF

GENDER AND SEXUALITIES

 

 

CONTENTS

Rationale for the Program                                                                                        2

Description of the Program and its Requirements                                                    4

Overlap with Other Programs and Majors                                                               4

Program Bulletin Statement                                                                                      5

List of Relevant Courses Already in the Bulletin                                                     6

      and in Recent Schedules, and of Listed Faculty

 

[not included in this document]

Appendix I: Letters of Support                                                                                8

Appendix II: Letter from Melissa Delbridge, with an                                             12

      update on LGB library resources

Appendix III: "Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Studies: A Guide                                        17

      to Selected Resources of Perkins Library

      (compiled by Suzy Taraba, 1993)

Appendix IV: Programs in Gender and Lesbian, Gay,                                           26

      and Bisexual Studies at Other US Universities

Appendix V: IDC 115D/ENG 101D, "Perspectives in Lesbian,                            31

      Gay, and Bisexual Studies", the Syllabus

Appendix VI: A Selection of Student Responses to the                                         36

      First Two Offerings of the "Perspectives" Course

 

 

University Co-Ordinating Committee for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies

Appointed

John Clum, Professor of English

Jean Hamilton, Professor of Psychology, Social and Health Sciences

Van E. Hillard, Director, the University Writing Program

Katharine Kunst, Assistant Director, Sanford Institute of Public Policy

Amy Vickers, Undergraduate Representative

John G. Younger , Professor of Classical Archaeology, chair

 

Invited

Mary Armstrong, Graduate Instructor (IDC 115D/ENG 101D)

Seth Persily, Undergraduate Representative

Gregory Tomso, Graduate Instructor (IDC 115D/ENG 101D)

                                                                                                                      10 May 1995


 

Rationale for a Program in Gender and Sexualities[1]

 

Over the past decade, the study of gender and sexualities has become a vital and active field of academic inquiry and scholarly research.  Initially situated over a century ago in the disciplines of Psychology, Sexology, and Sociology, deliberate inquiry into the personal and cultural nature of sexuality has become so thoroughly cross-disciplinary that, at present, issues of sexuality and gender are researched and debated in such diverse areas as Genetic Science, Cultural Anthropology, Psychology, History, Art, Classical Studies, Philosophy, Public Policy, Literature and Law.  Because gender and sexualities are biologically as well as culturally construed, the effects of their determinations and expressions are felt in every aspect of personal and social life.

 

Briefly, the study concerns the ways our gender roles (the ways by which we express our biological sex -- male or female -- in society) influence not just our personal but also our social, economic, and political lives.  Because expressions of sexuality differ from culture to culture and from time to time, close description and careful analysis of the character and effects of sexualities have provided a major new research instrument for charting and interpreting culture, history, literature, art, and the relations of power.  While many of the most significant advances have come in legal studies, cultural studies, and literature, the impact of scholarship in gender and sexualities can be felt in almost every academic discipline in universities throughout the nation (see Appendix IV), as well as at Duke (see the list of relevant courses, p. 6). 

 

The Program in Gender and Sexualities would focus on the political, historical, cultural, and psychological contexts in which gender identities and sexualities have been and are currently being expressed.  While we are especially interested in both gay and lesbian studies as well as in the emerging discipline of "queer theory", we are aware that the categories of "homosexual" and "heterosexual" are products of larger questions -- both of gender and of the ways in which formulations of gender merge with sanctions against non-procreative sex in general and against homosexuality in particular.  We are also aware that just as homosexuality has been figured against an ideal background of heterosexuality, so heterosexuality has been defined against homosexuality.  The social and personal meanings of both terms need to be more richly understood, and the areas of their significance, exclusivity, interconnection, and dependency need to be explored. 

 

The impact of research along the lines of gender and sexualities has charted new territory for investigation and has demanded new teaching in virtually every department and program at Duke.  Courses in this subject already exist at Duke, housed in a wide variety of departments and programs (see below, p. 6), most notably English, Literature and Film & Video, Women's Studies, Cultural Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Psychology.  Individual new courses are offered in Classical Studies, Religion, Romance Languages, Dance, Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, and German.  And a new undergraduate course, Perspectives in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies, sponsored by the English Department, is already in place, introducing students to the major areas of this discipline (see Appendix V, the Syllabus); student response to the first two offerings of this course underscores the discipline's relevant place in the undergraduate curriculum and in student life (see Appendix VI, Student Responses).  In fact, Duke University has a national reputation as an intellectual center for these studies, particularly in the Humanities disciplines.[2] 

 

As is clear from the list of departments and programs that offer courses in the study of gender and sexualities, this discipline is not site-specific or dependent on a unified faculty; in fact, this hybridized study resembles more the inter-disciplinary programs of Comparative Areas Studies, Women's Studies, and Afro-American Studies.  Like them, the study of gender and sexualities is so new a phenomenon that few universities (see Appendix IV) offer concerted programs or grant certificates or degrees.  This does not mean, however, that Duke should only tentatively encourage this research while monitoring its growth at other institutions; instead, this is the right moment to strengthen our lead in this area by promoting a more organized approach.

 

Duke already has an important faculty dedicated to research and graduate teaching in gender and sexualities.  Many of our scholars travel extensively, lecturing at conferences and other universities which, in turn, see the development of this field as a school of thought connected strongly to Duke University. 

 

In addition to this faculty commitment, the University has actively accumulated excellent resources and substantial library holdings to support undergraduate study in this area.  Perkins Library has appointed Melissa Delbridge Gay and Lesbian Bibliographer to develop its holdings in gender and sexualities studies, to ensure that materials are represented in all disciplines, and to advise researchers in strategies and resources for both undergraduate and graduate projects (see Appendix II [letter indicating the substantial nature of the library's holdings in this area], and an update by Delbridge to Appendix III "Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Studies: A Guide to Selected Resources of Perkins Library, Duke University", compiled by Suzy Taraba, September 1993).  One of the students in the introductory Perspectives course, with the help of Professor Jane Gaines, Film and Video Program, has designed "A Guide to Gay and Lesbian Film and Video" which will be made available in the Lilly Library.  Another student project has resulted in a bibliography of Perkins periodicals in the area of LGB Studies.

 

To complement these academic offerings and holdings, Duke has also fostered an atmosphere both increasingly open and tolerant of to discussions about male and female sexualitie.  We have many organizations: a Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Student Life Center, a Student Task Force on LGB Concerns, a Faculty and Staff LGB Guild, a Graduate and Professional Student LGB Association, the undergraduate Duke Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Alliance (DGLBA), the Law students' Committee on Gay and Lesbian Legal Issues (COGLLI), the religious organization Sacred Worth, an active LGB alumni/ae association BiGALA-Duke, a local e-mail discussion group DukeLGB, and most recently medical benefits for the partners of lesbian and gay faculty and staff. 

 

Duke is now well prepared to take the next step: a certificate-granting, or minor, Program in Gender and Sexualities to provide an overarching academic environment that would co-ordinate our various scholarly and professional resources for undergraduate study in the area.  Such a program would also find good company at other universities offering courses in this area, a few of which also sponsor programs (see Appendix IV: Programs in Gender and Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies at Other US Universities).

 


 

 

Description of the Program and its Requirements

 

Students planning to earn a Certificate/Minor in Gender and Sexualities will take an introductory course (IDC 115D/ENG 101D: Perspectives in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies)[3] and four additional courses selected from a list of appropriate courses offered at Duke (see below for a sample list of courses currently scheduled).  The last of these four may be an appropriate upper-level seminar designed primarily for participants in the program to explore special issues and topics.  In courses offered and in courses cross-listed by the program, students will read and consider the large body of fine scholarship and theory produced in gender studies over the past century -- from Havelock Ellis to contemporary queer theorists, such as Jeffrey Weeks and Adrienne Rich,[4] and historians, like Martin Duberman and John D'Emilio.[5]

 

The Program in Gender and Sexualities will be administered by a committee appointed by the Dean of Trinity College and will consist of a Director, faculty and staff from appropriate departments, and student representatives.  Members of the Committee will act as advisors to the students in the Program and will recommend the satisfaction of requirements based on the courses the students have taken.

 

In addition to its own introductory course, the Program will encourage the offering of courses in gender and sexualities under its own sponsorship,[6] including both courses housed in regular academic units and house courses on special topics.  The Program will also sponsor public lectures and other events in cooperation with the Women's Center, Women's Studies, the Program in Literature, and the Institute of the Arts.

 

Costs of the Program at present would be modest.  Primarily, it needs a presence: a space, staff assistance, and the usual office supplies (computer support, photocopying, stationery, telephone and postage privileges).  There should be funds for providing instructional time for faculty wishing to teach the introductory course "Perspectives in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Studies" on a rotational basis, along with two or three graduate instructors to work as teaching assistants each offering.  To grow, the Program also needs to sponsor new courses, lecturers, films, and other events.  

 

 

 

Overlap with Other Programs and Majors

 

The Program in Gender and Sexualities explores and unites an area of academic research and teaching that resides in several departments and programs at Duke, primarily English, Literature, Cultural Anthropology, and Psychology.  In addition, it concentrates on, and provides a structure for, the undergraduate study of the subject, complementing the graduate structure in English and Literature. 

 

Women's Studies[7] is the undergraduate program most related to ours.  Both are concerned with similar topics of discourse but employ a significantly different focus.  Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary program devoted to the study of women, gender, and feminist theories.  It promotes scholarship that retrieves material on women, develops theories and methodologies based on that material, and, using both the new material and the developing theories, reinvents itself as a discipline.  While its scope includes the study of gender and sexualities, its primary focus is on women.  The proposed Gender and Sexualities Program would complement Women's Studies by expressly focusing on the larger issue of gender, encompassing the greater social world by adding men and masculinist theories along with sexuality in its myriad forms.  In addition, the proposed Program would stress two major themes: homosexuality as a reflection and determinant of compulsory heterosexuality, and the social relations between men and women, especially involving power. 

 

Finally, the Program Committee will be specially sensitive to ensuring that students do not use the same courses to satisfy both a Women's Studies major and a certificate/minor in Gender and Sexualities.

 

 

 

Program Bulletin Statement

 

Program in the Study of Gender and Sexualities

Professor Younger, Director

A certificate [or minor], but not a major, is available in this program.

 

The Program in the Study of Gender and Sexualities is an interdisciplinary course of study that introduces students to critical analyses of the various expressions of gender and sexuality in society.  Courses in this area are sponsored by the program, offered through several different academic departments and programs, and taught by many faculty members.  The program also sponsors house courses on topics of interest to students in the program; while house courses do not officially count toward the certificate [or minor], students are strongly encouraged to consider them as valuable supplements to full-credit courses.  The program will also sponsor speakers and events in cooperation with the Women's Center, Women's Studies, the Program in Literature, Film and Video Program ("Queer Visions"), and the Institute of the Arts. 

 

Students working toward a certificate [or minor] in the Study of Gender and Sexualities declare a major in an academic department.  To qualify for the certificate [or minor], students take an introductory course (IDC 115D/ENG 101D taught in the Spring semester) and four additional courses, the last of which may by a special seminar designed mainly for participants in the program.  The appropriate courses may come from the list given below or may be approved on petition from the student, but the same courses cannot be used to satisfy other programs.  A sample list of current courses follows.  Program courses are described under the listings of the various departments.

 

 


 

List of Relevant Courses[8]

 

Biological Anthropology and Anatomy                      English#[9]

BAA 146: Sociobiology (Van Schaik[10])                      ENG 026S.13 Representations of Sex in Film,

                                                                                    Theory, and Fiction (Basseches)

Classical Studies#                                                    ENG 026S.17 Hustler, Criminal & Queer (Vincent)

CS 195:  Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Rome             ENG 184: Literature/Sexualities (Clum or

      (Janan); Issues of Gender and Sexuality in                    Moon ["Literature/Sexualities: American,

      Ancient Greece (Younger)                                          Canadian, & English Culture")

                                                                              ENG 288: Gay Abandon (Merck, Fall '93[11])

Cultural Anthropology#[12]                                        ENG 288.02 (new, Fall '95): Homosexuality &

CA 103 (new): Sexuality and Culture in America                  Masculinity in American Drama (Clum)

CA 108 (new): Fantasy and Popular Culture                  

CA 113: Construction of Gender (Silverblatt)                 Germanic Languages & Literature

CA 114: Gender Inequality (Starn)                              GER 203S: Sex, Gender, and Love in Middle High

CA 141: The Self and the Other (Apte, Ewing                  German Literature (Rasmussen [unable to

      or Luttrell)                                                             contact])

CA 215S (new): The Anthropology of Women:             

      Theoretical Issues                                                History[13]

CA 216S: Gender, Race, and Class (Luttrell)                HST 195S.66: Sex, Class, and Race in America

CS 280S: Anthropology and Cultural Studies                       (Hewitt)

      (Staff)                                                                HST 209: Race, Class, and Gender in Modern

                                                                                    British History (Thorne)

Dance#[14]

DAN 181S: Gender & Dance (Darnend)                          House Course[15]

                                                                              Topics in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Issues

Divinity School

REL 199S: Independent Study: Christianity and              Law School

      Homosexuality (Rudy)                                        Law and Gender (K. Bartlett)

 

Literature Program#[16]

LIT 186: Sexualities in Film & Video (Clum,

      Gaines, Moon)

LIT 198: Censorship, Law and Literature (Staff)

                                                                             

Political Science#

PS 163: Gender, Politics, and Policy (Staff)

PS 187S: Politics and the Libido (Paletz)

 

Pyschology / Pyschology - Social & Health

      Sciences#

PSY 177S: Human Sexuality (Izard)

PSY 180S: Advanced Topics in the Psychology of

      Gender (Fischer)

PSY/PSH 264S: Hormones , Gender (Hamilton)

PSH 284: Feminist Theory and the Social Sciences

      (Hamilton)

 

Religion#

REL 125: Women and Sexuality in the Christian

Tradition (Clark)

 

Sociology#[17]

SOC 118: Sex, Gender and Society (O'Rand)

SOC 149: Sexuality & Society (Luttrell)



[1]Professor Jean O'Barr , director of Women's Studies, and Professor Wallace Jackson, chair of the Department of English, have both been consulted at various stages in the design of this proposal.

[2]Recent newspaper articles in the Oklahoma Daily (the University of Oklahoma; 10 April 1995) and the Los Angeles Times (4 May 1995) both cite Duke University as "on the cutting edge" of this field.

[3]If approved, the Program in Gender and Sexualities would take on the sponsorship of this, its core course.

[4]For example: J. Weeks, Sexuality (1986); A. Rich, "Compulsory Heterosexuaity and Lesbian Existence," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society (Summer 1980), pp. 631-657.

[5]For example: M. Duberman et al., eds, Hidden from History (1989); J. D'Emilio, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970 (1983).

[6]An immediate need is for more courses that specifically concern lesbian and gay male issues in the law, religion, and medicine; Dr. Kathy Rudy, now teaching both for the Divinity School and Women's Studies, has expressed an interest in developing such courses under the aegis of the proposed Program.

[7]Professor Jean O'Barr, director of the Women's Studies Program, has been extremely helpful in crafting the following description, detailing the areas where the two programs do, and do not, overlap.

[8]The following courses are possible candidates for satisfying the program's requirements.  The list includes courses already listed in the Bulletin and in recent schedules.  The Committee has contacted the instructors to secure their approval for their course being listed here:

= instructor has approved listing this course for the Program

# = DUS (or, in some cases, the Chair) has approved listing relevant departmental courses for the Program

[9]The Department of English regularly offers gender and sexuality topics in its ENG 26S series.

[10]Professor van Schaik writes to express his approval of listing the course, although he adds "I do not say much about gender, focusing on biological sex differences, and usually spend about an hour lecture on homosexuality (to conclude that good biological theories are lacking).  However, the course does say a lot about sexual behavior and its social/biological functions in animals and (more speculatively) humans." 

[11]Professor Jane Gaines writes that though this course was taught only once by visiting professor Merck, and may never be taught again, other courses like it may be introduced on similar occasions.

[12]Professor Naomi Quinn, chair, Cultural Anthropology, writes to inform us, among many things, that, as chair, she no longer teaches many of the courses listed presently under her name; that CA 113 will be taught regularly beginning Spring 1996 by Irene Silverblatt; that CA is introducing some new courses in this area, CA 103, 142, 215S; and that "as cultural antrhpologists, we certainly do want to be involved.  I think this is a great program and cultural anthropology faculty have much to contribute to it."

[13]Professor Susan Thorne writes to indicate she may revive an earlier course, Sex, Class, and Victorians.

[14]Professor Dickinson, DUS for the Dance Program, writes to offer her support for the program, although this particular course was taught only once by June Darnend.

[15]Dean Wittig writes: "Because of the nature of house courses (pass/fail, half-credit, student-taught, etc.), the Committee on Curriculum does not approve their satisfying any requirement in the curriculum except elective credit toward graduation."

[16]The Program in Film and Video regularly offers its series "Queer Visions", to be held next 1995-6.

[17]Professor John Wilson, DUS for Sociology, also adds "You might also be intereted in the fact that the Department of Sociology will soon begin teaching a 200-level course on gender.  Should things go well for your proposal I would want you to consider including this course also."