WGS.225J | Spring 2023 | Undergraduate

Science of Race, Sex, and Gender


Course Meetings

Lecture/discussion: 2 sessions / week; 1.5 hours / session


There are no prerequisites for this course.


  • Two papers: 60%
  • Oral presentation: 10%
  • Class participation: 30%
  • For MIT students: Punctual attendance is obligatory. There is no final. 



Session 1: Introduction

Session 2: Definitions: Sex and Gender

Session 3: Definitions: Race

Session 4: Definitions: Intersectionality and Science

Session 5: How to Think about Science

Part 1: Histories of Race

Session 6: Pre-scientific Conceptions of Race

Session 7: Nineteenth-Century Racial Science

Session 8: Eugenics

Session 9: Materiality of Race

Session 10: Racial Classifications at the Intersection of Law and Science

Part 2: Histories of Sex/Gender

Session 11: Making Sex

First paper due

Session 12: Sex, Gender, Animals

Session 13: Gender, Sex, and Race in Nineteenth-Century Medicine

Session 14: Sex in the Natural Order

Session 15: Gender and Race, Conjoined

Part 3: Sex/Gender, Race, and Careers in Science

Session 16: Sex, Gender, Scientific Careers, and Epistemology

Session 17: Race, Ethnicity, Scientific Careers, and Epistemology I

Session 18: Race, Ethnicity, Scientific Careers, and Epistemology II

Part 4: Sex/Gender, Race, and Science Now

Session 19: Sex Cells and Sex Sells

Session 20: Sexuality, Hetero, Homo, and Beyond

Session 21: Race and Medicine Now

Session 22: Reprogramming Race I

Session 23: Remixing Sex

Sessions 24–26: Class Presentations and Sum Up

Second paper due