Gender History

Gender History Concentration

Fall 2019 Gender History Courses

This track enables students to construct a coherent program of study in the comparative history of women, gender and sexuality. Choosing from course offerings in different geographic regions, students can explore how gender varied over time and cross-culturally as a key component of politics, economics, social relations, and culture.

Course selection for this concentration should be reviewed carefully with a faculty advisor each semester. Students must also satisfy basic major requirements.


These are the New Requirements for the Gender History Concentration and apply to students who officially declared their major after September 1, 2006.

The concentration in gender requires a total of six courses that cover at least two different geographic regions (i.e. U.S. and Latin America; U.S. and Europe; Latin American and the Middle East). This comparative requirement may also be satisfied by taking two courses designated as trans-regional (i.e. "Feminism in the Americas").

1. To fulfill the concentration, students must take one seminar (200+), three additional upper-level (200+) courses, and two electives.

Many of the following faculty teach courses that fall within this concentration: Kathleen BrownAnn Farnsworth-AlvearSi-yen Fei,, Firoozeh Kashani-SabetKathy PeissEve Troutt PowellMargo Todd, and Beth Wenger. Please check individual course offerings to be sure they meet the requirements of this concentration.

2. Students are encouraged to take up to two courses from outside the Department of History.

These courses must be above the introductory level and focus on the history of women, gender, or sexuality. The following departments (as well as many others at Penn) regularly offer courses on gender that may be eligible to fulfill the concentration requirements: African Studies (AFST), Africana Studies (AFRC), Anthropology (ANTH), Art History (ARTH), Asian American Studies (ASAM), Comparative Literature (COML), English (ENGL), Folklore (FOLK), Gender, Culture & Society (GSOC), Health & Societies (HSOC), History & Sociology of Science (HSSC), Jewish Studies (JWST), Latin American & Latino Studies (LALS), Law (LAW), Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (PSCI), Religious Studies (RELS), Sociology (SOCI), Urban Studies (URBS).

Courses from other departments must be approved by the faculty advisor.

3. Students are strongly encouraged to take a course in feminist or gender theory as one of their required courses.

This can be a course offered outside the Department of History. Students should seek assistance from the faculty advisor to identify courses that satisfy this requirement.

Examples of courses that fulfill this requirement are:

  • PHIL 028 / GSOC 028 Feminist Philosophy
  • PSCI 280 / GSOC 280 Feminist Political Thought
  • GSOC 320 Contemporary Feminist Thought
  • SOCI 546 / GSOC 546 Feminist Theory