GI424      Half Unit
Gender Theories in the Modern World: An Interdisciplinary Approach

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Leticia Sabsay and Dr Sadie Wearing


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 half unit course which runs for 16 weeks. It  begins with a review of the formative influences on the development of gender theory, including the sex/gender distinction, race and intersectionality, 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. The second term extends these foundations by providing further grounding in questions of structure and agency, sexualities, masculinities and rights. The course considers the impact of gender analysis on key areas of social science investigation, and develops these with particular attention to location, ethics and the importance of global or transnational dimensions. Our expectation is that this course provides a thorough grounding for work across all other courses and for the dissertation module.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT. 7 hours and 30 minutes of lectures and 7 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT.

The course is taught in 15 x one-and-a-half hour sessions, plus 15 x one-and-a-half-hour seminars. It is divided into blocks of related lectures and linked seminars.

Formative coursework

Timed exam to be written during the first term.

Indicative reading

Benería, L. Gender, Development & Globalisation.  Economics As If All People Mattered. (2003) London & NY: Routledge;

Butler, J Gender Trouble, Routledge, New York & London (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) New Jersey: Humanities Press;

Harding, S (ed) Feminism and Methodology OU Press (1987);

Medhurst, A and S Munt Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Critical Introduction (1997) Cassell;

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);

P Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment, Unwin Hyman (1990);

N Kabeer, Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought, Verso (1994).


Take home exam (100%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Gender Institute

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: 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