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

Sexuality & Gender in History (HIST*3020)

Code and section: HIST*3020*01

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Catherine Carstairs


AD-S Virtual:

This course will be taught online in a Synchronous format on the following scheduled day(s) and time(s):

TTH    10:00 am - 11:20 am

  • Seminar T01 T 4:30-5:20

  • Seminar T02 TH 4:30-5:20

Details provided by instructor: This class will be conducted using zoom embedded in courselink. While I urge you to attend the lectures in real-time, they will be recorded. Each class will be divided in two: the first part will be lecture; the second half will be discussion. You will only need to attend one discussion section/week. If you do not wish to participate in discussion, there will be a written reading log option instead.

Course Synopsis:

This course will examine the history of sexuality in North America from European encounters with First Nations people to present debates over gay marriage, paying careful attention to how gender, race and class affect sexuality. Topics to be covered include: changing ideas/practices around courtship and marriage; the development of gay/lesbian/queer identities; sexual violence and slavery; the sexual revolution; sexually transmitted diseases; sex and the Cold War; birth control, and sex work.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. You will be able to explain how attitudes towards gender and sexuality in North America have changed from the 17th century to the present.  As part of this, you will be able to explicate some of the uncertainties/contradictions in the history of gender and sexuality.  (Participation, Exam)
  2. You will gain experience at interpreting difficult primary documents, such as novels, diaries and movies. (Novel as a Primary Source, Essay, Participation)
  3. You will improve your written and analytical skills by writing two papers and a take-home final. (Novel as a Primary Source, Essay, Exam)


15%    Participation or Reading Logs
25%    Novel as a Primary Source (5 Pages)
30%    Essay (5 Pages)
30%    Exam (Take Home)

Books to Purchase:

You may want to purchase one of:

  1. Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
  2. Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

These are also easily available as electronic books.

**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.