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Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

None, but completion of Introduction to Gender Studies is highly recommended.


This course will introduce students to a (historical) anthropology of gender and sexuality across the world. It will build on foundational theoretical discussions and debates on the social construction of gender and sexuality. We will reflect upon the production and regulation of gendered norms in society, their embodiment and performance, and transgressions. The course will also explore the intersection of gender and sexuality with other axes of identification, difference, and hierarchies such as race, religion, ethnicity, and class. Through ethnographic readings, films, poetry and literature, you will learn about both the power structures (family and patriarchy, religion and nationalism, colonialism and imperialism) within which discourses of gender and sexuality are embedded and the experiences of these in everyday life in different cultures. We will also explore how feminist knowledge and queer methodologies can disrupt received understandings of our social worlds.

Course Objectives

  • To impart knowledge of the ways in which gendered roles, representations of the body, and normative prescriptions regarding sexual behavior are embedded in particular historical dynamics of racial capitalism.

  • To develop tools to critically analyze and explain the ways in which normative ideas about gender and sexuality intersect with other structures of power and difference.

  • To acquire intellectual familiarity with different theoretical points of view, including critical feminist; Marxist; performativity; and queer and decolonial perspectives, to apply this knowledge to understand the worlds around us.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2023-2024 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction


Assessment Method

In class participation (individual), 10%
Presentation and leading class discussion (group), 30%
Film Review, 20%
Essay (2000 words) (individual), 40%

Reading list

Will be announced one week prior to the start of the course.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Radhika Gupta,