GCS-2 Language, gender, and sexuality

GCS-2 Language, gender, and sexuality


Learning outcomes: The main goal of this course is to acquaint students with key-concepts in language-gender-and-sexuality research from a linguistic perspective (while incorporating insights from neighboring fields). The knowledge provided in this course forwards an understanding of the constitutive role of language in the self- and other-representation of gendered and sexed subjects, while the relevant skills prepare students for the analysis of linguistic data in a systematic and critical way.

Specifically, the course aims at connecting linguistic forms with linguistic functions and, ultimately, with linguistic meanings, i.e., it spans the trajectory from Saussurian parole as language production to Foucauldian discours as a practice which constitutes social reality vis-à-vis gender and sexuality and licenses the unequal linguistic representation of gendered subjects (sexism).

In this course, which aims at connecting language linguistic form and function at the level of social practice, language use –speech acts– is the theoretical point of departure. Through them we critically approach discourse, the pivotal meeting point between linguistics and the social sciences. The ultimate goal is the realization that linguistic form is a prerequisite for the critical evaluation of Foucauldian discours as a privileged approach to our gendered condition. This, in turn, presupposes systematic engagement with categorization and categories, in the context of gendered performances, while various queer approaches claim that categories sustain social inequalities and call for their deconstruction, without necessarily examining the constitutive, metonymic relation between language and categorization.

The investigation of this metonymic relation (and the dynamic indexical relations it affords) is a basic goal of the course and a presupposition of any linguistic treatment of gender and sexuality.

General Competences: 
Understanding the complex relation between language gender, and sexuality and its social consequences (gendered linguistic performance, linguistic variation and inequality, sexism)
Independent work and teamwork
Working in an interdisciplinary environment
Respect for difference and multiculturalism
Showing social, professional, and ethical responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues
Production of free, creative, and inductive thinking


Social Sciences

Academic Unit:

Social Anthropology and History

Level of studies:


Course code:



Independent teaching activities


Weekly teaching hours




Course type:

Special background

Prerequisite courses:


Language of instruction and examinations:



Canakis Costas

Is the course offered to erasmus students: