This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Archived Versions

Sexual and Gender Identities

As taught in: Fall 2006

Transgender symbol, combining the traditional male and female symbols.

The transgender symbol. (Image by MIT OCW.)


Prof. Kim Surkan

MIT Course Number:

SP.406 / WGS.406



Course Description

This course introduces scholarly debates about sexual identities, gender identities and expressions, and sexual orientation and its representation in various media. We begin with an investigation of the theoretical underpinnings of the emerging field of queer studies, from the nineteenth century to the present day, and consider how subsequent work in transgender studies continues to challenge traditional understandings of sex, gender, and sexuality.