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Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture

Why do some scientists argue that there are five sexes? Why is it important to study sexuality outside the reproductive framework? To what extent do historical assumptions of gender or sexual difference influence our ethnic or cultural identification and our thinking about “race”? This minor tackles some of the most controversial and contested questions of our time, while avoiding the pitfalls of easy answers and trendy talking points. To understand how systems of gender and sexuality operate in our current lives, we need to study how people in the past conceptualized these categories. Since the 19th and early 20th century, certain researchers and artists started to see masculinity and femininity as cultural constructions instead of unique essences; The scholarly term “gender” was introduced in the 1980s to challenge the binary vision of the world; and more recently, critiques of “heteronormativity,” and even “homonormativity” have shown that one’s experiences of sexuality is socially organized and made compulsory. Likewise, cultural difference, race, and ethnicity have social histories and ideologies. Through an in-depth analysis and open discussion of a broad variety of theoretical and cultural texts, students in this minor will explore the cultural constructions of femininity and masculinity, normal and perverse sexualities, and racial marking. To study these cultural constructions, we will engage in deep analyses of arts and culture, from manifestos, novels, and poetry, to paintings, films, and commercials, from prehistorical cosmologies to Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B. As a result, this minor traces a connection between current activist movements and genealogies of gender, sexuality, and race.

The Gender and Sexuality minor supports all university study programs by teaching students how to use sophisticated conceptual tools to analyze difference and diversity. Courses can be taken as electives, with preference given to students who register for the entire minor.

Maximum number of participants: 60

Prospectus number: 5000MGENDN

Class number: 7837

Language: English

Registration: via EduXchange

LEI students 8 May to 15 July 2023

TUD and EUR students 8 May to 31 May 2023


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Eerste semester

Histories of Gender and Sexuality in Society and Culture 10
Voyeurism and Exhibitionism: Gender and Visual Culture 5

Tweede semester

The Desire for the Other: Gender and Ethnicity 5
Contemporary Visions of Gender and Sexuality 10

Meer info


  • Extent: 30 EC (spread over 2 semesters)

  • Intended for: students from all disciplines

  • Language of instruction: English

  • Website: Other modes of study

  • Coordinator: dr. L. van Kessel

  • For information: Coordatinor of studies

  • Board of Examiners: Literatuur- en Mediawetenschappen

  • Education Committee: BA Film- en literatuurwetenschap

  • Registration:
    LEI students 8 May to 15 July 2023
    TUD and EUR students 8 May to 31 May 2023
    Register for the minor activity via EduXchange (applies to all students)
    From July, register separately for the courses via MyStudymap (only applies to LEI students).

Follow-on master's programme

Media Studies: Cultural Analysis: Literature and Theory


not applicable