nl en

Histories of Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture


Admission requirements

Not applicable


In this introductory core course we discuss how thinkers from different fields and periods approach the concepts of gender and sexuality. We compare views from within Christianity to (classical) philosophy on morality and the body. Then we peek into the microscope of biology to ask where is your sex exactly? And, are all plants and animals heterosexual? We examine the pioneers of psychoanalysis who theorize sexual difference and debate views from within politics and law. For example, how ‘bad’ is the sex industry? During the course you will read key writings like Frankenstein and Orlando to analyze how literature births new social ideas. This course also introduces you to the most important arguments for gender and sexuality studies from post-colonial theory, feminist Marxism, and transgender studies that the next courses further develop.

Course objectives

After completion of the course:

  • the student has the knowledge and understanding of the main historical debates about the role that gender and sexuality play in culture, film and literature (from Plato to the present);

  • the student gains historical and theoretical insights into gender as a discursive, social construction and recognize how it becomes situated in different periods;

  • the student is able to evaluate understandings and concepts from different disciplines and historical periods in their analysis of literature, film and other artistic and cultural objects and practices (past and present) ;

  • the student can analyze the role of gender and sexuality play in the arts and futher, he/she is able to relate this analysis to the relevant social and scientific debates.



Mode of instruction

Lectures mixed with workgroup class meetings

Course Load

Histories – 208 total

  • Course meetings: 26 hrs

  • Preparation for meetings: 150 hrs

  • Assignments and Exams: 38 hrs

Assessment method

Two shorter analysis assignments (10 % each = 20% together); written mid-term take-home exam (40%) written end-term take-home exam (40%).


will be used for communication, providing literature and/or other study material, for turnitin, and where applicable for reading and writing assignments, discussion forums, peer feedback, and to ask questions to the teacher and/or fellow students.

Reading list

Longer academic texts are available through the ‘collegeplank’ in the University Library and can be copied on site. Shorter texts are posted on Blackboard


Students need to register in uSis for classes, exams and final papers.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher Dr. Eliza Steinbock of Dr. Yasco Horsman.

Administrations Office: Van Wijkplaats.
Coordinator of Studies: mevr. drs. E.M.T.Poolman.


For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies