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

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sadie Wearing, Pankurst House.11.01C


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Gender, MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Media and Culture, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities and MSc in Women, Peace and Security. This course is available on the MSc in Social Research Methods. 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 15 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 power and the relations between the psyche and the social. Building on these foundations it enables students to consider the implications for analysis of a variety of sites and topics including post/coloniality, representation, sexuality and nation, 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 and 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.

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

Formative coursework

Timed assessment to be written during the first term.

Indicative reading

  • Ahmed S, Living a Feminist Life, Duke University Press, Durham (2017)
  • Benería, L. Gender, Development & Globalisation.  Economics As If All People Mattered. (2003) London & NY: Routledge;
  • Butler, J Gender Trouble, Routledge, New York & London (1999);
  • Butler J, the Psychic Life of Power, Stanford University Press, Stanford, (1997)
  • Eadie,J (ed) Sexuality. The Essential Glossary (2004);
  • Evans et al, The Sage Handbook of Feminist Theory Sage, London (2015)
  • Evans M and Williams C,  Gender: The Key Concepts, Routledge, London, (2012)
  • Foucault M The History of Sexuality Vol 1  Penguin, Houndsmills ( 1990)
  • Hemmings C, Why Stories Matter: The Political Grammar of Feminist Theory, Duke University Press, Durha, (2011)
  • Hill Collins P and Bilge S, Intersectionality,  Polity, London (2016)
  • Mohanty C,  Feminism without Borders Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity, Duke University Press, Durham (2003)
  • Weigman R, Object Lessons, Duke University Press, Durham (2012)


Exercise (100%) in the LT.

The exercise will be a fixed period timed assessment.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 30.1
Merit 53.4
Pass 15.3
Fail 1.2

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2018/19: 103

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