GI411      Half Unit
Gender, Postcolonialism, Development: Critical Perspectives and New Directions

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sumi Madhok COL.5.04A


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, 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 with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


While there are no specific requirements, it is preferred that students have a background in social science or the humanities.

Course content

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the growing body of scholarship that critically interrogates gender and development from a postcolonial perspective. It provides an opportunity for students to encounter and engage with canonical works within postcolonial theory in order to examine the historical and contemporary aspects of development thinking, policy and practice in relation to gender. In bringing together postcolonial thinking, gender/feminist theory and development discourse, this course combines a study of the historical/textual/cultural/political and philosophical in relation to and alongside the political-economic. The course will include readings from postcolonial texts and thinkers  to critically understand coloniality, orientalism and subalternity with a view to identify these within the discourses and practices of gender and development and especially on questions of human rights, agency, representation, globalisation, and neoliberal developmentalism among others. Finally, the course will also point to new directions in contemporary theoretical thinking that have arisen in the wake of and in response to postcolonial work for e.g. writings on Empire and Multitude, Cosmopolitics/Cosmopolitanism and Transnationalism with a view to exploring how these might impact upon postcolonialism, gender and development.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Essay (1500 words) to be presented in a workshop.

Indicative reading

Bhabha, Homi, Location of Culture (1994) Routledge, London: New York; Crush, Jonathan, ( 1995) The Power of Development, Routledge: London;
Escobar, Arturo, (1995) Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, Princeton, N.J, Princeton University Press; Kapoor, Ilan, (2008) The Postcolonial Politics of Development, Routledge, London: New York; McEwen, Claire, (2009) Postcolonialism and Development, Routledge, London; Mignolo, Walter, (2000), Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J; Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. (2003) Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practising Solidarity, Duke University Press, Durham; Said, Edward. (1985, 1995) 'Orientalism', Penguin, Harmondsworth; Saunders, Kriemild. (ed.), (2002). Feminist Post-Development Thought: Rethinking Modernity, Post-colonialism and Representation, Zed Books, London: New York; Spivak, Gayatri. Chakravorty (1999) A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, Harvard University Press.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Gender Institute

Total students 2012/13: 27

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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