The following courses can count towards a Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. However, not all courses may count towards completion of your graduate program. Please check with your Department Chair to discuss the specific requirements set by your department.

If you have taken a course or are interested in a course that you think might count towards the Certificate but it is not listed here, please email us at

Please visit the EagleApps Course Information and Schedule site for up-to-date course descriptions, faculty, meeting times, and room assignments.

Fall 2023

GCWS Graduate Seminars

Course TitleInstructorSchedule / LocationDescription
Feminist and Queer TheoriesDr. Suzanna Walters, Northeastern University

Tuesdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m.


This class aims to familiarize students with the core texts and key debates that have shaped feminist and queer theory. This course engages students in complex debates around sex, gender, sexuality, and the body that push beyond binary models reliant on a simple “nature/culture” distinction. We will trace the expansion of the term “queer” from its early contestation with LGBT identities and politics to its current use as a broad framework that designates non-normative modes of knowledge, cultural practices, and political activism. Similarly, feminist theory will be unmoored from popular misconceptions and historical inaccuracies to instead investigate the rich and varied treasure trove that is feminism, focusing in particular on the vexing relationship between feminist theory and feminist activism. Central to our investigation are the intersections/contestations between feminist theory and queer theory, particularly in conversation with allied frames/theories around race, indigeneity, disability, etc.
Writing and Resistance in the Middle EastDr. Selen Erdogan, Harvard University

Thursdays, 3:00-6:00 p.m.


This course focuses on the margins of dominant gender and sexuality regimes in the modern Middle East through the lenses of women’s fiction in Turkey, Egypt, and Iran. Throughout the semester we will examine the workings and the violent underpinnings of modern gender and sexual norms by centering on women’s stories in three areas: non-conjugality, sex work, and imprisonment. We will contemplate and compare the subjectivities produced by modern Turkish, Iranian, and Egyptian literature by focusing on works that subvert the criteria for national canon formations. These three nation-states went through rapid modernization processes during the 19th and 20th centuries and give us a ground for comparison. Reflecting this focus, the course materials include literary works on the modern experience that tell the stories of subjects who defy patriarchy, do not conform to normative sexual orientations, or live outside the conjugal order. Works of art describing life at the margins of society, such as in sex work and prisons, are integral to the course. Students will closely engage with these literary works of Middle Eastern modernisms while reading critical and empirical studies of gender and sexuality from different disciplines in social sciences and humanities.

With these critical questions in mind, we will read texts that depict dissonant sexualities and ask what we can learn about feminist theory and subjectivity from the historically situated context of the Middle East. The course is comparative and interdisciplinary, as students will think of Middle Eastern cultural archives in dialogue with seminal critical works on Western modernity. The course attempts to rethink modernism and its gendered underside, through narratives about modern Istanbul, Cairo, or Tehran to scrutinize the capitalist reification and fragmentation of gender and sexuality in these rapidly growing cities of Middle Eastern modernity. We will discover the moments when those narratives move beyond the male gaze and beyond moral warnings about the catastrophes that await unmarried women in big cities.