Spring 2024

Sexualities in International Relations

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-160  |  Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, as SWAG-160


Manuela Picq (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 160 and SWAG 160) From abortion to gay rights, sexuality is deeply entangled in world politics. As LGBT rights become human rights principles, they not only enter the rights structure of the European Union and the United Nations but are also considered a barometer of political modernity. If some Latin American nations have depicted their recognition of gay rights as symbolic of their progressive character, certain North African nations have depicted their repression of homosexuality symbolic of their opposition to western imperialism. The results of sexual politics are often contradictory, with some countries enabling same-sex marriage but criminalizing abortion and others cutting aid in the name of human rights. This course explores the influence of sexual politics on international relations. We analyze how women and gay rights take shape in the international system, from the UN to security agendas, and evaluate how sexuality shapes the modus operandi of contemporary politics.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice (RHRJ) certificate.

Limited to 25 students. Spring Semester.  Karl Loewenstein Senior Lecturer Picq.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference will be given to Political Science and SWAG majors.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Group work, readings, written work, oral presentations.

POSC 160 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM FAYE 115
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM FAYE 115

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Fruit of Knowledge: The Vulva vs. The Patriarchy Fantagraphics Books Liv Stromquist Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2024