GI421      Half Unit
Sexuality, Gender and Culture

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Jacob Breslow


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe, MSc in Culture and Conflict in a Global Europe (LSE & Sciences Po), 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 Politics, MSc in Human Rights and Politics 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 sexuality studies, incorporating intersectional, black feminist, postcolonial, queer, crip, trans, and critical race perspectives. 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 15 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

  • Jacqui Alexander (1994) 'Not Just (Any) Body Can Be a Citizen: The Politics of Law, Sexuality and Postcoloniality in Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas', Feminist Review 48: 5-23. 
  • Susanne YP Choi and Ming Luo (2016) 'Performative Family: Homosexuality, Marriage and Intergenerational Dynamics in China', British Journal of Sociology 67(2): 260-280.
  • Michel Foucault (1978) The 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).
  • Audre Lorde (1978 in 1993) 'The uses of the erotic: the erotic as power' in The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (London: Routledge)
  • Ishita Pande (2012) 'Coming of Age: Law, Sex and Childhood in Late Colonial India', Gender and History 24(1): 205-230.
  • Gayle Rubin (1984 in 1993) ‘Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality’, The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (London: Routledge).
  • Laura Ann Stoler (1995) Race and the Education of Desire (Durham: Duke University Press).
  • Susan Stryker and Talia M. Bettcher (eds.), (2016) “Trans/Feminisms” [Special Issue] Transgender Studies Quarterly 3(1-2).
  • H. Sharif 'Herukhuti' Williams (2016) 'Introduction to Afrocentric Decolonizing Kweer Theory and Epistemology of the Erotic', Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships 2(4): 1-31.


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

Assessment is due at the beginning of LT.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.1
Merit 43
Pass 40.7
Fail 1.2

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2018/19: 30

Average class size 2018/19: 8

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