Gender and diversity

A multidisciplinary approach to the study of identity formation

Gender, race and sexuality

In the multidisciplinary minor Gender and Diversity you will learn how to critically perceive contemporary discussions in science and society, from the perspective of gender and diversity. You will gain knowledge of the relevant theories on gender, race, ethnicity and sexuality, in the disciplinary fields of history, philosophy, literature, medicine, sociology and anthropology, and religious studies. You will develop a diverse perspective in discussions with students from other disciplines in the classroom. In assignments you are going to apply the knowledge achieved, to your own disciplinary field.

Period 1

  • Theorizing Gender and Intersectionality: introduces the theoretical perspectives in feminist, race, and intersectionality theory, and forms the backbone of the minor. It gives insight into the sex/gender debate, social constructionism and materialism, gender and race theory, the debate about intersectionality.
  • Sexual Health: aims at coming to a better understanding of sexual health in its societal and scientific context. In the course, theories and methodologies of research into sexual health will be studied, and implications of outcomes of such research for public health policy will be examined.

Period 2
You choose two out of these three courses:

  • The Personal is Political: biography, gender and diversity: addresses how gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, race, age, religion and class influence the lives of politically engaged personalities, by studying the genres of the political biography, autobiography and life writing.
  • Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion: discusses questions around national and European identity, in which gender, (homo)sexuality and class have become prominent as markers of national inclusion and exclusion. Islamophobic rightwing and Islamic radicalization are studied as possible reactions to experienced threats to identity.
  • American Film: Cinematic Representations of the ‘Other’: discusses key representations of the “Other” – in terms of race, sexuality, and gender – in American films such as Jezebel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Vertigo, and Alien.

Period 3

  • Religions and Gender: addresses the relationship of religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Shinto, Greek and Babylonian religions) to gender: male and female models in religious narratives, historical shifts in the religious status of women, religious views of homosexuality, masculinity in religious politics.

The minor Gender and Diversity is a university minor, which means you do not need permission from your own Exam Committee (except VUmc-students).

Also Bachelor students of other universities are welcome to attend this minor.
Please note that in this case you should obtain permission from your home university.

Foreign students: see the website Semester in Amsterdam.

More information about Admission and Registration (Dutch: Aanmelden voor een minor).

If you have detailed questions about the contents of the programme, please contact:


Annemie Halsema
T: +31 20 5986684

Overview Gender and diversity




1 semester (30 EC)


September 1st


Behavioural and Social Sciences
Health and Movement
Art, Culture and History