Gender and Sexuality Studies

With Gender and Sexuality Studies at the core of all areas of the Humanities, French & Italian Studies have close links to gender studies. At least since the invention of heterosexual love in the middle ages, the French and Italians have had much to say about women, feminism, masculinity, transgender, and sexuality. Graduate students interested in gender and sexuality will find an extremely vibrant intellectual home in FRIT. We study gender in all kinds of texts from all periods, from the middle ages to the 21st century, in literature, theory, film, TV, journalism, magazines, digital media, bandes dessinées, performance, art, and other cultural artifacts. Gender and sexuality are woven throughout all our graduate courses, and some courses take gender as their focus. We routinely place theories of gender into dialogue with literature and other cultural artifacts to produce cutting-edge interpretations of gender constructs in Italian- and French-speaking contexts.

The French PhD and Italian MA are complemented by the interdisciplinary Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS) program, which offers an MA and a PhD certificate and broad courses such as feminist theory, queer theory, masculinities, gender and the global, gendered embodiment, and many others. A French faculty member currently serves as director of the program. Through GSWS, students become part of an interdisciplinary intellectual community centered on gender.

Because gender studies is a much more widespread approach in the US than in many parts of the world, potential students from outside the US may find our program an especially exciting intellectual home conducive to their interests. PhD students will leave our program at the cutting-edge of French and Francophone studies as well as gender studies.