Students participating in Women’s and Gender Studies in Europe enroll in the four required courses, earning the equivalent of 16 semester credits upon successful completion. Course credits are awarded in Carleton College academic credits. The student’s home institution is responsible for converting the Carleton credits. Please see the recommended credit conversion

GWSS 243: Situated Feminisms: Socio-Political Systems and Gender Issues Across Europe

This course examines the history and present of feminist and LGBTQ+ activists across Western and East-Central Europe. We study the impact of the European colonial heritage on the lives of women and sexual/ethnic minorities across European communities, as well as the legacies of World War II, the Cold War, and the EU expansion into Eastern Europe. Reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ issues, “anti- genderism,” sex work, trafficking, and issues faced by ethnic minorities are among topics explored. These topics are addressed comparatively and historically, stressing their ‘situated’ nature and considering their divergent sociopolitical national frameworks.

GWSS 244: Cross-Cultural Feminist Methodologies

This course explores the following questions: What is the relationship between methodology and knowledge claims in feminist research? How do language and narrative help shape experience? What are the power interests involved in keeping certain knowledges marginalized/subjugated? How do questions of gender and sexuality, of ethnicity and national location, figure in these debates? We will also pay close attention to questions arising from the hegemony of English as the global language of WGS as a discipline, and will reflect on what it means to move between different linguistic communities, with each being differently situated in the global power hierarchies.

GWSS 325: Continental Feminist, Queer and Trans* Theories

Addressing the impact of Anglo-American influences in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, this course examines European, including East-Central European, approaches to key gender and sexuality topics. It raises questions about the transfer of feminist concepts across cultures and languages.

Some of the themes explored include nationalism and gender/sexuality, gendered dimensions of Western and East-Central European racisms, the historical influence of psychoanalysis on Continental feminist theories, the implications of European feminisms in the history of colonialism, the biopolitics of gender, homonationalism, as well as Eastern European socialist/communist theories of women’semancipation.

GWSS 391: Independent Field Research in Europe

This is a self-designed project, and the topic will be determined by each student’s research interests.  It will build on readings and work by European women and/or sexual minorities, feminist & queer theory, cross-cultural theory and (if applicable) principles of field research. It should be cross-cultural and comparative, and ideally should involve field work. Drawing on skills developed in feminist theory and methodology seminars, students select appropriate research methods and conduct sustained research in two of the countries visited. The progress of each project will be evaluated regularly in relation to parameters established in conjunction with the Program Director.

Drawing on skills developed in the feminist and queer theory and methodology seminars, students will select appropriate research methods and will conduct a sustained research project based on resources located/developed by the student in two of the countries visited. The progress of each research project will be evaluated at regular intervals in relation to parameters established in conjunction with the Program Director (or an external project supervisor if applicable).

To request previous course syllabi, email