About the Course

Beyond the Binary: A Cultural History of Gender

  • Grade 9+
  • CTY-Level

From birth, we are exposed to cultural messages about gender: we are wrapped in blue or pink blankets; given action figures or dolls; exposed to roughhousing or playacting. These approaches to gender perpetuate a particular status quo, one that works against a vast spectrum of lived experiences and possibilities. This course uses feminist theories and critical cultural studies to identify and challenge contemporary understandings of gender. As you examine gendered depictions in literature, art, advertising, film, and social media, you’ll learn to cast a critical eye toward coded representations through critical essay writing, debates, and multimedia projects.

Typical Class Size: 16

Testing and Prerequisites

  Math Verbal
Required Level Not required CTY-Level
Check your eligibility using existing test scores If you do not have existing test scores:

Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.

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Cost and Financial Aid

  • Tuition
    • Varies
  • Application fee
    • Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
    • Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)

Financial Aid is available

We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.

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Course Materials

Students should bring basic school supplies like pens, notebooks, and folders to their summer program. You will be notified of any additional items needed before the course begins. All other materials will be provided by CTY.

Sample Reading

These titles have been featured in past sessions of the course, and may be included this summer. CTY provides students with all texts; no purchase is required.

  • Introduction Women’s and Gender Studies: An Interdisciplinary Approach, by Melissa Gillis and Andrew Jacobs

Technical Requirements

Students must bring a tablet, laptop computer, or Chromebook for use during the session. A smartphone will not be sufficient.

About History and Social Science at CTY

Enhance your critical thinking skills

Expand your ability to reason through difficult problems by taking one of our philosophy or logic classes. Learn how to craft strong and clear arguments in Big Questions, write proofs that avoid fallacious reasoning in Introduction to Logic, or explore the techniques of logic that lawyers, doctors, and mathematicians utilize to be successful in their fields in Logic: Principles of Reasoning.

Explore social justice in action

Develop knowledge and skills that will help you address issues of systemic inequality throughout the world. Challenge historical assumptions about gender to interrogate harmful stereotypes in Beyond the Binary.

Meet our instructors and staff