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GSF 364S: Race, Gender, and Sexuality


  • Divide into pairs or small groups. Within those groups, consider designating a notetaker, a timekeeper, and a reporter.
  • Explore 2 or 3 of the items displayed on the tables, some of which are also in the "Links to Items" list below. 
  • Browse, for about 10 minutes, through at least one item, making notes (including page numbers!) of anything that interests or puzzles you. 
    • Consider using the "Getting to Know Your Item" questions in the box below.
  • Share observations with your group, for about 10 minutes.
    • To start, the timekeeper will give each group member one minute to share their observations with the rest of the group.
    • With the remaining time, work together to answer the group discussion questions (see below).  

Links to selected Items


Book artists: an artists' book is an original work of art that incorporates or innovates upon the book form in some—often dramatic—way. 



from the Asian Students Association Instagram feed.


Activist organizations and publications:                                                                                                 

Student Organizations:

  • Asian Students Association: (The Asian Students Association was founded at Duke University in 1981 to serve the social, political and cultural interests of Asian and Asian-American students.) organizational web presence: Facebook | Instagramcollection description
  • Spectrum: organizational website (This organization no longer exists. Spectrum was an organization at Duke that served as a vehicle for inter-community dialogue and collaboration among the various cultural groups including: the Asian Student Association, Black Student Alliance, Duke India Association, Hillel, Mi Gente, Diya, Native American Studies Coalition, Spectrum Dormitory, and the Students of the Caribbean Association.), collection description
  • Yellow Pages: Asian American Students' publication; catalog record

Zines: A zine is a small, self published booklet in which creators share their art, poems, personal stories, and other writings. Zines are characterized by freedom of thought, subversion, and the sharing of lived experiences.

Check out our suggested reading list on all these genres and topics!

Discussion Questions: Getting to Know Your Item (10 minutes)

We offer these questions as guidance; you may notice and investigate other details about your item, and that's great! You'll be sharing your thoughts about these questions or your own observations with your small group in the next step of this activity, so you may want to take notes.


  1. What do you notice about the physical characteristics of the item? For example, is it hand written or printed? Photocopied or glossy? How are colors and graphics used? 

  1. Who created the publication you’re looking at and why do you think it was created? Is there a specific point the creators were trying to make or message they were trying to send?

  1. How do they help you see your own role in histories of race, gender, and sexuality?

Discussion Questions: Discussing Your Item in a Small Group (10 minutes)


  1. Do different items share the same themes through different media? Are some items more powerful in conveying some meanings than others? if so, why?

  1. Based on the source you are analyzing, what would you tell a friend about the history of racial, gender, and sexual expression in visual arts?

  1. A single primary source sometimes raises more questions than it answers. What questions do you still have about the source you reviewed?

Suggested Follow-Up Assignment

Create a small exhibit on the relationship of gender to race and sexuality

Students can select 3-5 items from the material used or referenced in this class session to create a small exhibit about the relationship of gender to race and sexuality. Students will likely need to conduct additional secondary research, using either the suggested readings listed in this guide or sources they find on their own. As part of their exhibit, students should prepare a brief introductory statement as well as exhibit labels for each of the items they choose, providing contextual information to help a general audience understand the history of romance writing. Students could also write a curator’s reflection paper, explaining their process and analyzing the choices they made about what sources and what information they included or did not in their exhibit.