Welcome to Gender and Sexuality Studies!
On this website you will find information about the requirements of the gender and sexuality studies minor, what gender and sexuality courses are offered at Loyola University Maryland, which faculty are involved in the program, resources for embarking on your own research or to learn more about feminism, and how to become involved in the club and Iota Iota Iota honor society. Scroll down on this page for news about new courses and the capstone course.
Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor
The gender and sexuality studies minor started (as gender studies) in 1992 and is the oldest interdisciplinary minor at Loyola. The minor is designed to help students of all genders and sexualities bring academic rigor and depth to their academic interests, and to help them identify connections between their experiences and the experiences of others throughout history and across racial/ethnic, economic, and cultural contexts.
Students can take courses in multiple disciplines to build a minor that fits with their major and complements their interests and strengths. Course topics include Gender, Culture, and Madness; Women in the Christian Tradition; Psychology of Gender; Sociology of Race, Class, and Gender; Queer Theatre and Film; Gender, Human Rights and Conflict; Global Histories of Sexuality; Philosophy and Feminism, among others. Many are diversity courses and some fulfill the core. Courses are also available through study abroad.
Students who complete the minor graduate with a greater sense of how sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression intersect with their major interests. As such, the minor complements major study in all academic areas (business, education, engineering, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences) and serves students who go on to work with people, ideas, media, policy, and technology
Why pursue a Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor?
Gender and sexuality studies is helpful to careers and graduate work in law, writing and communications, public policy, non-profit organizations, education, government and service-oriented professions. It also complements and deepens the student’s academic major by adding a crucial dimension of the human experience, and attention to diversity and social justice.
Gender and Sexuality Studies Alumni spoke with students about their post Loyola lives.
Matthew DiFerdinando Esq. graduated from Loyola in 2014 with a BA in sociology.
He is currently practicing immigration law at HISA Pennsylvania. Matthew was the Govans neighborhood liaison and a service coordinator for CCSJ, interned for St. Vincent de Paul, and was active in Relay for Life. His Sociology methods proposal was for a study of the impact of family Structure on gender identity in boys.
Angelica Puzio graduated from Loyola in 2015 with a BA in psychology.
She is currently a PhD candidate in Developmental Psychology at NUY. Angelica was Director of Equity in student government at Loyola and founder of the Loyola University Committee on Sexual Violence. She did an independent research project for Gender and Sexuality Studies credit that examined how well Loyola students understand sexual assault and the campus-based process for reporting it, which was later published.
Megan Ryan graduated from Loyola in 2016 with a degree in Global Studies.
She is currently pursuing dual Master's degrees in Social Work (MSW) & Human Sexuality Studies (MEd) at Widner University. Megan helped organize Take Back the Night, spoke on numerous panels addressing consent, was a leader of Spectrum, and was a service Coordinator for CCSJ.
Anastasia Canell, Psychology Major '17, reported about her experience with the minor and gave us an update in 2020:
'The Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor at Loyola University Maryland has gifted me with the opportunity to learn about something that I was passionate about within different interdisciplinary perspectives. The classes within the Gender and Sexuality Studies Minor have complimented my Psychology major and made me a more complex thinker about issues of social justice and feminism within my intended field of study. The Gender and Sexuality Studies minor overlapped perfectly with several core classes so that I was able to fit it into my four years at Loyola, and also made the required core classes more interesting to me. All of my gender studies professors have challenged me to think more critically of gender binaries, toxic masculinity, authorship, identity, leadership, and social justice. The Gender and Sexuality Studies minor also was a major selling point in many of my PhD interviews for post-graduation. I am extremely thankful to have had the incredible education of gender studies incorporated into my time at Loyola University Maryland."
“I am currently finishing up my third year in a doctorate in counseling psychology at Lehigh University with a research focus in geropsychology (older adults). I recently published a piece for the American Psychological Association Division 20 Adult Development & Aging that I really leaned on my education in gender studies from Loyola to write: The Third Shift: Caring for Older Adults."
Jessica Brown, a Political Science major, '18 explained how the minor shaped her viewpoint:
"Regardless of where I end up and what I will be doing, the Gender and Sexuality Studies courses at Loyola have imparted a set of lenses with which I now view the world—a gendered perspective that influences the questions I ask and how I act, both in formal and informal settings. After I graduate, I will be working for the Foreign Service Institute as a Program Assistant. I will be aiding with the administration and creation of courses, where instilling a global and diverse perspective is a part of every class taught. As an intern, I was already able to interject in classroom discussions and help groom students by posing those tough questions: where are the women? Minorities? How will they be effected by a particularly policy or deployment? What customs should we be aware of prior to shipping out? Exploring and questioning largely unstudied dynamics has become a passion of mine. I was able to take what I have learned thus far and bring it into fruition through my independent study course, where Western-centric notions had to be cast aside to appreciate how something, like a social movement, functions elsewhere."
Jessica Brown presented her research on gay and lesbian social movements in the Middle East and North Africa at the 2018 Undergraduate Student Research and Scholarship Colloquium View Jessica's Prezi.
Spring 2024 Capstone
Advanced Topics in Theology: Feminist Theology and the Body
(Gender and Sexuality Studies minors enroll under SC3397 Gender and Sexuality Studies Capstone. Written or electronic permission of the instructor.)
HS 376/ HS 430 African American Women's History (Coming Spring 2024)
How does our understanding of American history change when we center Black women? From Harriet Tubman to the blueswomen of the early twentieth century; queer Black feminists of the 1970s to Anita Hill, this course explores how both well-known and everyday Black women have engaged with and shaped American culture, politics, and society. This course traces the history of African American women from the antebellum period to the twentieth century. Students will learn how race, color, gender, class, and sexuality have shaped ideas about and experiences of Black womanhood in America. Drawing from historical scholarship on African American women, popular culture, and personal testimony, among other sources, this course encourages students to use creative and rigorous historical methods to locate Black women’s experiences, which often have been placed on the periphery of American history and life. While this course is historical in nature, students are encouraged to think critically about contemporary issues related to African American women, and to trace the continuities and discontinuities between Black womanhood in the past and present
CL 201 The Construction of Male and Female in Ancient Greece and Rome (Coming Spring 2024)
A study of the idea of gender in Greece and Rome through art, literature, and philosophy. Readings include selections from Sappho, Plato’s Symposium and Republic, Hesiod’s Theogogy, Aeschylus’s Oresteia, Catullus’s love poetry, among others
Visit the Gender and Sexuality Studies Club page or go to The Bridge for information. The first club meeting of 2023 is 9/14, 7:00 -8:00 p.m. Mugs and markers will be provided for you to create your own feminist beverage vessel.
New Faculty Scholarship
New articles and books were published by several participating faculty.