Many members of the Romance Studies Department have strong research and teaching interests in the fields of sex, gender, and sexuality. We study the question of what it means to be embodied as a man or a woman, or as an intersexed or transgendered person, both from a concrete, historical point of view, and from a theoretical perspective. We also take a strong interest in questions of desire, passion, love and marriage and their complications in history and theory. Our research interests and courses range widely: in our courses students may immerse themselves in the question of sexuality in Lacanian psychoanalysis, study castration and masculinity in the Italian Renaissance, learn about the stylized nature of gender in French 17th century literature, or work out the philosophical implications of Simone de Beauvoir's feminism. To find out more, please consult the web profile of the affiliated faculty members.
Students in Romance Studies at Duke will be able to draw on the exceptionally rich resources for the study of sex, gender and sexuality in other departments at Duke. The Department of Women's Studies offers a popular graduate certificate in Women's Studies. There is also an undergraduate Program in the Study of Sexualities, which organizes events and lectures of interest also to graduate students, and many departments, including Literature and English regularly offer graduate courses of interdisciplinary interest in these fields.