GI421      Half Unit
Sexuality, Gender and Culture

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Clare Hemmings Pankurst House.11.01J


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Global Europe: Culture and Conflict, MSc in Global Europe: Culture and Conflict (LSE & Sciences Po), MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Human Rights and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Students wanting to take GI421 but who are not part of a listed degree programme should provide a statement about their reasons for wanting to follow the course. This should include background in sexuality or gender studies, areas of related interest and experience, or other conceptual or theoretical grounding that might be relevant. GI421 is an interdisciplinary course with a high theory content, and students who do not provide evidence - e.g. prior courses in gender and/or sexuality, professional or political experience in related areas - of being at the appropriate level in this regard will not be admitted to the course.

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’.


15 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)

Clare Hemmings, ed. (2014) 'Sexuality Section', Mary Evans et al, eds, Handbook of Feminist Theory (London: Sage).

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.

Susan Stryker and Talia M. Bettcher (eds.), (2016) “Trans/Feminisms” [Special Issue] TSQ 3(1-2).Laura Ann Stoler (1995) Race and the Education of Desire (Durham: Duke University Press);

Omise'eke Tinsley (2018) Ezili's Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders (Durham: Duke UP)



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

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13.8
Merit 36.9
Pass 47.7
Fail 1.5

Teachers' comment

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2017/18: 31

Average class size 2017/18: 9

Controlled access 2017/18: 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