GI402      Half Unit
Gender, Knowledge and Research Practice

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Jacob Breslow PAN 11.01N and Dr Marsha Henry


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Gender, MSc in Gender and MSc in Gender (Research). This course is available on the MSc in Culture and Society, MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Media and Culture, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Social Research Methods and MSc in Women, Peace and Security. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course introduces students to the central issues at stake in designing and carrying out gender research at graduate and postgraduate level and beyond. The course maps the history of debates about gender and feminist research, and asks what difference it makes to take gender as the subject or object of research. Of particular concern are the ethical and political issues arising from doing gender research with respect to representing others and seeking to influence and engage with broader social contexts among other topics. The course is interdisciplinary, introducing students to a range of perspectives on knowledge production and research practice. It engages with epistemologies and methodologies that are centered in decolonial, black feminist, queer, trans, anti-abelist, and other intersectional approaches. Offering critiques of existing knowledge practices, it highlights the specific challenges to 'mainstream knowledge' that come from intersectional gendered and feminist perspectives. It explores how knowledge is produced and offers critical assessments of the dominant debates in gendered research practice, asking how we ensure that we conduct research ethically. Finally, the course focuses on the methodological challenges arising within interdisciplinary research.


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

The course is taught in weekly 1.5 hour lecture, 1.5 hour seminar in MT. 

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Essay (1500 words) in the MT.

Indicative reading

  • Patricia Hill Collins (2000) Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge.
  • Ruth Frankenberg and Lata Mani (1993) "Crosscurrents, Crosstalk, Race, 'Postcoloniality' and the Politics of Location", Cultural Studies 7(2): 292-310. 
  • Sandra Harding and Kathryn Norbers, eds (2005) "New Feminist Approaches to Social Science Methodologies", [Special issue] Signs 30(4).
  • Nina Lykke (2005) "Transformative Methodologies in Feminist Studies", [Special Issue] European Journal of Women's Studies 12(3).
  • Uma Narayan and Sandra Harding, eds (2000) Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial and Feminist World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


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

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 28.1
Merit 57.3
Pass 13.5
Fail 1.1

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2018/19: 45

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Controlled access 2018/19: 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