Gender and Sexuality Studies

This course explores issues of gender and sexuality in the contemporary world with a special emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues, prostitution/sexwork and women’s emancipation.

This course asks: How has history formed the present that we find ourselves in, and can we understand sex, gender and sexuality from the point of view of cultural history? We will explore this through reading, discussing, and visits from activist organizations in Copenhagen.

Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize the distribution of pornography (1969), to legalize same-sex civil unions (1989), to allow two persons of the same sex as legal parents of a child (1999), and to allow trans*persons to legally change their gender based solely on request (2014). In many ways, Denmark has thus been a front-runner for sexual and LGBTQ+ rights.

How has Danish history paved the way for these transformations, and how does history continually shape the way we think about gender equality, sexual rights, and LGBTQ+ liberation? Similarly, women’s emancipation was also brought on by access to birth control (1966) and right to abortion (1973). What has happened with feminism since then in Denmark? And how does Danish feminism stand with a controversial issue, such as sex work or prostitution?

We will both study Denmark as a case, but also broaden our perspective and bring in examples from the US, Sweden and other countries to help us understand how the framing of the past is forming the present situation and the futures we can imagine.

Course code: HDCB01211U
Credits: 15 ECTS
Duration: 1 semester
Available: Spring and autumn semester.

Note: Example – subject to change

Lecture Theme
Lecture 1 Introduction: Studying Gender and Sexuality
Lecture 2 The Invention of Heterosexuality: Historicizing the Norm
Lecture 3 The History of Homosexuality
Lecture 4 20th Century Queer Sexualities / How to Write a Synopsis
Lecture 5 Transgender in Denmark / Midway evaluation
Lecture 6 Women’s Emancipation and Feminism
NGO Talk Sex og Samfund (Danish Family Planning Association)
Lecture 7 Prostitution in Denmark and Sweden
Lecture 8 Final class discussion / How to write research paper