Have you ever wanted to study the complexities of gender, or learn more about multiple sexualities? If so, the minor in gender and sexuality studies at the University of West Georgia (UWG) is for you. This minor focuses on the diversity of gender identity and sexual orientation across time and cultures.

“The gender and sexuality studies minor looks at the broad sense of gender, the whole range of masculinity and femininity and anything in between,” said Dr. Jeffery Zamostny, director of the minor. “We are also really interested in sexualities, in the plural, as a marker of identity.”

The minor was officially approved in fall 2011, and was made available to students shortly after.

“The first time the intro course, Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies, was offered was May of 2012,” Zamostny said. “That was the first time the minor had presence among students. We have offered the intro course in the spring semester every year since then.”

The gender and sexuality studies minor is interdisciplinary, meaning the courses could be from two or more academic disciplines. Most of the courses for this minor are housed in the College of Arts and Humanities.

“As an interdisciplinary minor, we are looking at gender and sexuality using a lot of different approaches,” Zamostny said. “We are interested in looking at visual art, and a lot of courses use audio/ visual material in their classes to teach this topic. At the last Innovation in Pedagogy Conference at [the University of] West Georgia, the roundtable of faculty discussed how they use audio/ visual material in their classes. Someone discussed using comic books and graphic novels; someone discussed analyzing film; someone in art history talked about advertising, and the way visual material in advertising perpetuates certain gender stereotypes.”

As director of the program, Zamostny handpicks the courses that are approved under the minor.

“Each semester the courses go up on Banweb, and I immediately look and send a list of courses I believe to be relevant to Registrar,” Zamostny said. “I also contact the faculty member to make sure they will agree. Generally, we have anywhere from about four to ten or more approved courses per semester.”

“I recommend that perspective students look at our website that can be found on the university website,” Zamostny continued. “It has a list of faculty members who are involved, and a list of courses for each semester; it also list some student organizations students might be interested in. I recommend any perspective students who are interested should contact me.”

For more information, students can contact Dr. Jeffery Zamostny at jzamostn@westga.edu.

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