Submission Date


Document Type



Gender & Women’s Studies

Faculty Mentor

Rebecca Evans


Presented during the 23rd Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 23, 2021 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

How do language and word choice influence the way people think about gender and sexuality? This question is addressed through a syllabus for an entry level college course, which includes suggested readings and activities along with explanations and advice for instructors. This course provides a foundation for understanding the power of language and the impact that the vocabulary used to describe people in relation to their gender and sexuality has. The purpose of the course is to offer an interactive guide for students to consider the many different ways that words may be used or misused, understood or misunderstood. This will demonstrate the complex impact of language in shaping how people think and act. The creation of a course is critical because of its ability to teach people in creative and memorable ways that allow them to develop awareness and skills that they can use in their personal and professional lives. Beyond a basic understanding of critical language to address a person or identity, the course creatively explores everyday language and its implications through practical application and activities for students. When we become more aware of language, we can better understand and communicate with others. Awareness of everyday language will help promote greater inclusivity toward the LGBTQIA2S+ community. This, in turn, encourages empathy, open-mindedness, and respect for others.

Open Access

Available to all.