Programme information

Introduction to Sexuality Studies

This three-week course explores the historical, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of sexual norms and behaviors. 
It examines the history of sexuality studies as an emerging discipline in the 19 th Century, tracing its development from essentialism to constructivism, as well as the basic concepts of sexuality and gender. Both historical and socio-cultural boundaries of sexual norms and behaviors will be explored, as well as the construction of normativities, such as heterosexuality.

Attention will be given to the ways in which sexuality has been framed in past and current theoretical frameworks and to the growing movement which advocates for sexual empowerment and sexual rights. The intersection of the discourse on sex work with the discourse on human trafficking and the tensions between sexual pleasure and sexual abuse will be explored by looking at concepts such as sexual empowerment and sexual citizenship. Also the intersections with other relations of power, such as ethnicity, class and migrant status will be discussed.

Loading video..

Study Load

The programme schedule from Monday to Thursday includes:

morning lecture (2.5 hours)

lunch break (1 hour; provided by the University)  

afternoon workshop (2.5 hours; includes film screenings, debates, and city excursions).

On Fridays, participants will conduct independent research.


Included in the tuition price are thematic excursions that illustrate the current approach to sexuality in Amsterdam. During with the excursions and fellow students, parallels can be drawn and comparisons will be made to the students’ home countries. Site visits include:

  1. Tour of the Red Light District and Prostitute Information Center
  2. Gay bar (optional)
  3. Vrankrijk Queer Night


As a Summer Institute student you receive a participation certificatet with an official seal from the Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Students who wish to earn credits receive an official transcript stating the courses taken, credits earned and grades obtained. The programme is the equivalent of a 6 European Credits (or 3 American credits) module. Students are responsible for ensuring that their home university will accept the credits and final credit conversions need to be made by the home university.


Published by  GSSS Summer Programmes Office

5 April 2018