Sexuality and Gender in History (HIST*3020) | College of Arts

Sexuality and Gender in History (HIST*3020)

Code and section: HIST*3020*01

Term: Winter 2023

Instructor: Cathryn Spence


Course Synopsis: 

This course will explore gender and sexuality in pre-modern Western culture. The course is thematic and incorporates a long time span as well as various geographical regions. The main focus of the course is to explore how gender, sexuality, class, and race are interconnected and given various meanings in different time periods. The course will focus on topics as varied as sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome; European medieval understandings of sexuality; ideas of patriarchy, femininity, masculinity; domestic violence in Europe in the early modern period; Elizabeth I and other kings and queens; hermaphrodites; and male same-sex relations.

Method of Delivery: 

Two interactive lectures/discussions per week (1.5 hours each)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Upon successful completion of this course, students will: 
  • have knowledge and understanding of key issues, figures, and themes relevant to the history of gender and sexuality in the pre-modern world;
  • understand pre-modern social and cultural life more widely via this analysis;
  • understand terminology such as gender, sex, sexuality, intersectionality, and patriarchy; 
  • have developed study skills and analytical capabilities through an engagement with both primary source material and secondary source discussion; 
  • have the ability to develop a more profound understanding of particular aspects of the topics covered; 
  • have critical thinking and ability to assess and evaluate arguments; 
  • have the ability to express arguments and opinions orally and in writing; 
  • have the ability to analyse and interpret primary sources; and 
  • have the ability to examine historiographical differences and debates.

Method of Evaluation and Weights:

  • Class Participation – 15%
  • Essay Proposal and Outline – 10%
  • Book Review – 20%
  • Essay – 25%
  • Take-home Exam – 30%

Texts Required:

All readings will be provided through the Library (ARES) or Courselink.

**Please note: This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.**