Gender Theories in the Modern World: An Interdisciplinary Approach

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sumi Madhok COL.5.04A


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Media and Culture and MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities. This course is available on the MSc in Development Studies. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course aims to enable students to: become familiar with the fullest range of gender theories with particular attention to the intersections of gender, sexuality and race; develop a critical appreciation of these different theories of gender; use gender theories to inform their appreciation of existing work in their own disciplines and in an interdisciplinary context; use the analysis of gender relations as a basis for case study evaluation and research.

It is a full unit course and begins with a review of the formative influences on the development of gender theory, including the sex/gender distinction, economics and production/reproduction, theories of difference and the implications for analysis of a variety of sites including political representation, psychoanalysis and its impact on considering aspects of the social ;sexualities in a global context, theories of power and discourse, and questions raised by postcolonial theory, The course includes a number of sessions on gender, culture and global feminism, addressing issues of cultural relativism, human rights, agency and masculinities. The course considers the impact of gender analysis on key areas of social science investigation.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.

1500 words.

Indicative reading

• Benería, L. Gender, Development & Globalisation. Economics As If All People Mattered. (2003);
• Butler, J Gender Trouble, (1999);
• Foucault, M History of Sexuality Volume 1 (1981);
• Eadie,J (ed) Sexuality. The Essential Glossary (2004);
• Gould, C Key Concepts in Gender Theory (1997);
• Harding, S (ed) Feminism and Methodology (1987);
• Kemp, S & Squires, J., Feminisms(1997);
• Lewis, G 'Race', Gender, Social Welfare (2000);
• Marks, E and I de Courtivron (eds) New French Feminisms (1981);
• Medhurst and Munt, A and S, Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Critical Introduction (1997);
• Pilcher, J and Imelda Whelehan 50 Key Concepts in Gender Studies (Key Concepts) Sage (2004);
• Visvanathan, N, et. al. (eds.) Penguin; The Sexual Subject: A Screen Reader in Sexuality. Routledge (1992);
• Hill Collins, P, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment, Unwin Hyman (1990);
• Kabeer, N, Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought, Verso (1994).


Exam (50%, duration: 3 hours).
Essay (50%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Gender Institute

Total students 2012/13: 79

Average class size 2012/13: 16

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills