Koç University Gender Studies Certificate Program (GSCP) is geared towards developing an understanding of the issues, debates and concerns surrounding gender and in particular, women’s experience. The GSCP adopts an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach that takes as its subject all aspects of the human experience in a gendered world. The aim of the program is to offer critical reflections in the humanities and social sciences on gender issues. Particularly, course content and methodologies will offer historical, philosophical, social scientific and legal perspectives on a variety of gender issues, including gender inequalities. The courses will also address strategies to alleviate those inequalities in contemporary society.

Certificate Coordinator Aslı Mert

Requirements: Students who complete five courses out of the courses listed below will be awarded the Gender Studies Certificate. Any of the courses below may be substituted for other equivalent courses upon authorization by the Faculty Council of the department offering that course. Some core curriculum courses and lower level courses help build the certificate program in women’s studies. Accordingly, the departments offering particular GSCP courses will determine the prerequisites for these. All undergraduate students with good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to the certificate program. Courses completed prior to the application to the certificate program will be counted towards the requirements, if they are among the specified courses. A student can fulfill part of the requirements of the GSCP by taking an “Independent Study” on a relevant topic from one of the participating departments in lieu of a required course with the prior consent of the GSCP and the independent study instructor.

The average grade from the five courses must be at least 2.70. A student failing to meet this grade requirement is not qualified to receive the certificate. A certificate will be presented to the student completing the certification requirements along with the Bachelor of Arts degree at the time of graduation from the University.

Required  Courses:
(Five of the following offered courses)

ASIU 116 Bodies in Literature

Offers a broad introduction to the growing corpus of literature on the body. Draws on novels, theatrical plays and films across a range of cultural locations and over a broad chronological span from the Renaissance to the present.
Considers the ways in which bodily representations reflect social and political attitudes about class, race, gender, and sexuality, and how these attitudes change across different historical periods. Explores the politics of bodily
representation in a historicist way and provides a basic introduction to key literary periods.

ASIU 117 Women and Gender in Literature

An introduction to the various texts problematizing women’s relationship with identity, culture and society. A cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach exploring the connection between gender, sexuality, class, race, religion and nationality as reflected in literature.

 PHIL 440 Sexual Difference and Psychoanalysis: Irigaray and Kristeva

Focusing on Irigaray and Kristeva’s reading of Freud and Lacan. Showing what kind of contribution a critical engagement with psychoanalysis can make to feminist questioning of sexual difference and thinking through the challenge feminism presents to psychoanalysis.

 PHIL 381 Feminist Theories: Gender and Social Identity

A thematic course on contemporary feminist theories. Dealing with issues in sex and gender, as well as other forms of social identity including race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, age, and religion from the perspective of social and political philosophy. Discussing the distinction between mainstream feminist theory that prioritizes the category of “Woman” and contemporary queer theory that questions this category. Special focus on Intersectionality theory that proposes that various forms of social identity and oppression intersect in terms of history and politics.

 ETHR 107  Sexism and Discrimination

Investigation of sexism, discrimination and gender equality from an interdisciplinary perspective to explore various aspects of women’s human rights from historical, legal, philosophical as well as sociological perspectives. Examination of concepts such as sex, gender, oppression, equality, equity, justice, intersectionality, cultural relativism and rights.

 TLIT 270 Women in Turkish Novel

This course aims to study the female characters and stereotypes in Turkish literature through the angle of feminist literary criticism. In the beginning, we will discuss concepts such as woman as writer, and woman as reader. We will then move on to an examination of female characters in the major works of Turkish literature to reveal the sexist approaches in these works. Topics discussed during the course will also include the revision of women’s literature in the light of the discussions around language and gender.

 TLIT 217 Modernization and Gender in Turkish Literature

This course aims to discuss the effects of modernization experience on gender through analyses of the literary narratives. It will be explored to what extent the new gender identities and new relations between men and women are related with the modernization project. While exploring these relations, our primary focus will be literature which has been one of the significant tools of Turkish modernization. The course will cover the relations between gender and the themes listed below: The new perception on woman/man, East/ West dichotomy or hybridity, I. World War, Nationalism, War of Independence, Socialism, Feminism, villager/intellectual relations, Islamism and Homosexuality. All of these themes will be discussed with a special focus on the novels and short stories which are representatives of each period. The relation between the narrative structure of the novels/short stories and their content will also be scrutinized.

 LITR 430 Feminist Narratives

Critical examination of major ideas and interventions in current feminist thought through a variety of media and artifacts such as literary texts, film, theoretical writings, multimedia, and oral narratives. Particular focus on how gender critiques challenge established notions of femininity, masculinity, identity, and behavior.

 SOCI 211  Sociology of Gender

Examines gender as a major organizing principle in social life. Particularly, this course focuses on how gender identities are socially constructed and how gender intersects with ethnicity, nationalism, class, sexuality, age and other dimensions of identity and social inequality. It also investigates the roles of family, education, the media, politics, economics and religion in shaping gender identities and inequalities.

 SOCI 390, HIST 390, PSYC 390, PHIL 390 Independent Study (with the approval of the program coordinator)

 SOCI 350 (SOCI 380) Selected Topics in Sociology: Social Stratification, Gender and the City

Social Stratification, Gender and the City This course aims to provide a theoretical and empirical framework for the analysis of structured social inequality with a special emphasis on gender stratification. The course comprises five parts: The first part is an introduction to the field. The subsequent three parts focus on one key dimension of social stratification each, namely; class and status, gender, and finally, race and ethnicity. Within each part, the topic of social stratification will be discussed in relation to both theory and empirical case studies. Case studies will focus on the Turkish context, as well as other national settings. Furthermore each part will relate social stratification to the urban context. Thus, the way stratification, especially gender stratification, becomes visible in the city constitutes a key part of this course.

 PHIL 432 Philosophical Perspectives on Gender

The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the issues, debates and themes in the contemporary feminist theory. We will emphasize the impact of recent social theories and their destabilizing influences in comparison to the unifying theme of the earlier feminist theories. We will focus on the conceptual debates surrounding issues such the body, sexuality, sexual identity, the category of woman and the politics of difference.

 PHIL 380 Feminism and its Discontents

Introduction to the issues, debates and themes in the contemporary feminist theory. Emphasis on the impact of recent social theories and their destabilizing influences in comparison to the unifying theme of the earlier feminist theories. Special focus on the conceptual debates surrounding issues such the body, sexuality, sexual identity, the category of woman and the politics of difference.

 HIST 409 Gender, Culture and Politics

The role of gender in public and private life and its historical, political, cultural and social implications. Gender, Culture, and Politics begins with an inquiry into the role that gender has played in the history of different civilizations, but focuses on European civilizations. It also examines the historiographical development of the field of gender studies. Employing the methodological approaches of semiotics, anthropology, visual culture, and history this course looks at how gender has and continues to impact culture and society in our lives today.

LAW 200 Selected Topics in Law: Women’s Human Rights

This course examines how international human rights law, instruments, and institutions respond to women’s human rights violations. It covers: women and human rights discourse; transnational law and gender related discrimination; CEDAW and its Optional Protocol; CEDAW Case-Law and Recommendations; women’s human rights before UN Treaty Organs and ICCPR Human Rights Committee; gender equality before regional human rights courts (ECtHR; ECR; Inter-American System); international humanitarian law.

 SOCI 208/ PSYC 208 Family Studies and the Turkish Family

Students will develop an understanding of the family as a social institution and as a context in which individuals develop, make choices, and influence each other. The course will introduce the students to how social scientists understand and study the family. Today’s most pertinent family issues are discussed such as dating, sex, cross-gender relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, family violence, and family law.

SOCI 381  Men, Women and Work

This course provides a conceptual framework for understanding inequalities between men and women in the labor market and in the workplace and the gendered division of labor for paid and unpaid work. It also discusses how masculine and feminine identities are constructed in diverse workplaces in the manufacturing and service sectors.

PSYC 338  Women and Leadership

Women’s leadership in politics, profit and nonprofit organizations should be encouraged for societal development. The course focuses on factors facilitating and impeding women’s leadership by reviewing multiple theoretical perspectives, state-of-the-art-research, and workforce practices. Research findings, practices and policies in Türkiye will be compared with those in the developed and developing nations. In addition to lectures, students will participate in designing and implementing projects aiming at empowering women.

ARHA 334 / MAVA 334  Gender and Visual Culture

Gender and Visual Culture This course examines how gender has been a major factor in shaping our approaches and interpretations of visual culture in the past and present societies. It examines a variety of subjects in visual culture which intersect with gender. Examples of how the art and architecture of the past has been shaped by issues such as the gender of patrons, the role of the gaze in art and cinema, the use of space by different genders, and the role of gender in contemporary visual products such as advertising are some of the topics which are covered in this course.

 COMM 324 Modern Masculinities

This is an interdisciplinary course exploring the construction of Masculinities. We will look at ‘masculinity’ as a fluid (not fixed) mechanism for survival; as a ‘mask’ or ‘performance’. We begin with a general look at gender as a social phenomenon and examine two theories supporting the notion that gender is, to a large extent, socially constructed across cultures. From there we move to an examination of violent masculinities, media and masculinity, and finally masculinities and relationships (love and friendship). Throughout the course we will be attempting to understand how the development of the masculine gender as a mask or performance can cause personal and social problems. Problems that require a sensitive and thorough investigation of gender construction before any resolution can be attempted.

ARTS 350 Women in Film

This course is a survey of women filmmakers’ journey since the dawn of cinema starting with Maya Deren and ending in contemporary film today. Pausing to contemplate the mastery of Jane Campion’s films, such as Sweetie, An Angel At My Table, The Piano and Portrait of a Lady, this course explores why cinema hasn’t seen enough women film directors. The students will also be made familiar with the works of women screenwriters, editors, casting directors in the film industry. Although this course takes interest in the toils and troubles of women as filmmakers -and not as subject matter-, in order to understand the female gaze, we will make an obligatory stop at the “male gaze”, through the works of Antonioni and Bunuel. We will end on a promising note as we will scrutinize the ample body of work presented by international women directors of the last decade from countries such as Argentina, France and Iran as we come closer to home, to Turkish women in film. Screenings include: Lina Wertmüller’s Swept Away , Catherine Breillat’s Fat Girl , Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding , Rebecca Miller’s Personal Velocity, Niki Caro’s Whale Rider and Sally Potter’s Orlando.

ARTS 450 Film, Genre, and Gender

This course focuses on the intersections and interactions between gender, sexuality, genre/style, and cinematic/filmic practice. Through the select case studies ranging from melodrama to documentary, the class is expected to gain a critical insight and to articulate relations between visual media and gendered embodiment, aesthetic form and politics of representation. The module’s focus will be not limited to the classic examples of film history – those in which genre “haunts” gender relations – but expanded to contemporary examples of feminist/queer film and video-art where gender-genre relations are made radically visible via pastiche, parody and generic ambivalence.

PSYC 355 Selected Topics In Psychology: Psychology of  Intimate Relationships

Psychology of intimate relationships: The purpose of this course is to introduce student to various aspects of close relationships including marriage, parenting, sexuality etc. The course promotes understanding of self, marriages, and families within the context of cultural and social realities. Because current events are pertinent to family issues, they are often integrated into class content and analyzed from the perspective of individual and family development and functioning within a diverse society. 

TLIT 219 Turkish Modernization: A Family Affair

Analysis of social change in Türkiye from the late nineteenth century until the present day by reading social science texts together with examples from Turkish literature, especially novels. Focus on families as a key to understanding modernization in Türkiye. Impact of modernization on traditional family structure, the role of the family in nation-building process and the changes in the construction of gender roles in the family.

SOCI 326 / INTL 325 Gender and Politics

This undergraduate seminar critically explores a variety of political, social, and economic processes through a gendered perspective. The class revisits issues of politics and political economy by focusing on various inequalities that govern the lives of men and women in their everyday lives. The course material is organized so that we discuss themes such as, but not limited to, nation-state formation, citizenship, labor, and development.

PHIL 382  Women, Discrimination and Human Rights

Examination and clarification of critical concepts such as equality, equity, justice, intersectionality, cultural relativism, and rights. Developing the foundational understanding of the centrality of gender equality for human rights in general. Discussion of the contemporary situation of gender equality from an international perspective in the light of the various historical, legal and normative developments for the promotion of  women’s human rights.

PHIL 450: Selected Topics in Philosophy: Feminist Thinkers: Simone de Beauvoir

Investigation of Simone De Beauvoir’s philosophical and literary works’ contribution to feminist theory. Discussion of the current problems women face, such as othering, oppression, discrimination and violations of rights, in terms of the ethical and political aspects of Beauvoir’s philosophy. 

PSYC 350: Selected Topics in Applied Psychology: Psychology of Sex and Sexuality

Examining human sexuality from psychological, cognitive, biological, behavioral, social, and historical perspectives by incorporating issues of diversity.  A developmental approach across life span. Topics including development of sexuality, male and female sexual anatomy and physiology, values about sex, love and intimacy, sexually transmitted diseases, patterns of sexual response, sexual problems, sexual orientation, sexual coercion, and other social issues in sexuality.

LITR 354: Selected Topics in Literature: Friendship

Study of literary and philosophical texts on friendship from different centuries and cultures. Examination of themes such as the history of friendship, the impact of friendships on gender relations, and friendships on social media.

LAW 358: Selected Topics in Law: Gender Based Discrimination and Law

Principle of equality – heteronormativity and legal effects of patriarchy (gender stereotypes, gendered socialization, sexual orientation) – gender studies vs. men’s/women’s studies – the international framework on gender equality – political thought and gender equality – the principle of gender equality in contemporary constitutionalism – constitutional gender equality (civil, political, and economic rights) – gender quality and family issues (parental leave, father’s rights, marriage, divorce, child-caring) – gender-based discrimination and education – gender-based discrimination and reproductive rights – gender equality and intersectionality (race, religion)

SOCI 451: Selected Topics in Sociology: Body Politics

Examination of the human body as a biological as well as social unit. Investigation of how society assigns meanings to the body as well as how individuals claim visibility and social participation through the body. Special attention to the social parameters and ideologies that serve to differentiate, categorize, and classify our bodies, such as race, gender, sexuality, nationalism, and capitalism. Interdisciplinary perspectives to understanding the power dynamics inherent in the social and biological formations of bodies.