GI421      Half Unit
Sexuality, Gender and Culture

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Clare Hemmings COL5.01C


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

Course content

‘Sexuality, Gender and Culture’, introduces students to historical and theoretical components of the field, and explores case studies of the development of sexual cultures, identities and social movements from the late 19th century to the present. The course provides theoretical foundations in this area through a case-study based approach. Indicative topics include: colonialism and sexuality, sexualisation of culture; transformation of intimacy; abortion and migration; transgender studies and bisexuality; queer theory and social movements. The course is interdisciplinary and demands a high level of student participation, but does not require a background in the field. It is also available as a first half of a full unit ‘Sexuality, Gender and Globalisation’.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

seminars come before lectures

Formative coursework

One 1500 word critical analysis to be submitted at the end of week 5 and an essay outline to be submitted at the end of week 9 (for written feedback and discussion in office hours). 

Indicative reading

M.Jacqui Alexander (1994) ‘Not Just (Any) Body Can Be a Citizen: The Politics of Law, Sexuality and Postcoloniality in Trindad and Tobago and the Bahamas’, Feminist Review. 48: 5-23.

Mark Blasius and Shane Phelan (1997) We Are Everywhere: a Historical Sourcebook in Gay and Lesbian Politics (New York: Routledge).

Michel Foucault (1978) History of Sexuality: Vol 1 (New York: Pantheon)

Rosemary Hennessy (2000) Profit and Pleasure: Sexual Identities in Late Capitalism (New York: Routledge);

Audre Lorde (1978 in 1993) 'The uses of the erotic: the erotic as power' in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (London: Routledge)

Eithne Luibheid (2011) ‘Nationalist Heterosexuality, Migrant  (Il)legality, and Irish Citizenship Law: Queering the Connections’, South Atlantic Quarterly 110. 1: 179-204.

Gayle Rubin (1984) ‘Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality’, The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader, eds Abelove and Halperin (Routledge, 1993), pp. 3-44.

Laura Ann Stoler (1995) Race and the Education of Desire (Durham: Duke University Press);


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

assessment is due at the beginning of LT.


This is to alert students to the actual timing of the assessment.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 24.2
Merit 51.5
Pass 24.2
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Gender Institute

Total students 2015/16: 12

Average class size 2015/16: 5

Controlled access 2015/16: No

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

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 100%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)