Transnational Sexual Politics

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jacob Breslow and Prof Clare Hemmings


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Gender (Sexuality). 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 Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Peace and Security, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Human Rights, MSc in Human Rights and Politics, MSc in International Migration and Public Policy 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.

Course content

'Transnational Sexual Politics’ takes a case-study approach to questions of sexuality, gender and culture (in the first term) and to sexuality in the contexts of globalization (in the second). The full unit considers a variety of ways in which sexuality is central to any understanding of the social world, and it explores queer methods for interrogating the world. It is an interdisciplinary course within which intersectional, black feminist, postcolonial, queer, crip, trans, and critical race perspectives are used to interpret particular sexual phenomena and contexts – rights, citizenship, fertility, representation, kinship, asylum and technology, for example. The course will allow a thorough grounding in sexuality and gender studies. Although it is interdisciplinary, it does not have a pre-requisite.


This course runs across both MT and LT. It contains both asynchronous and interactive teaching and learning elements. In the MT, this learning will be done alongside students from GI421. In LT, there will be an additional skills-building element that is directed towards the conference assessment.

Formative coursework

One 1500 word critical analysis to be submitted at the beginning of week 5 (MT); submission of draft abstract for conference presentation by the Friday of week 5 (LT).

Indicative reading

  • Jacqui Alexander (2006) Gay Tourism: Culture and Context (Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press).
  • Clare Hemmings, ed. (2014) 'Sexuality Section', Mary Evans et al, eds, Handbook of Feminist Theory (London: Sage).
  • Kamala Kempadoo (2004) Sexing the Caribbean: Gender, Race and Sexual Labour (New York: Routledge).
  • Susanne YP Choi and Ming Luo (2016) 'Performative Family: Homosexuality, Marriage and Intergenerational Dynamics in China', British Journal of Sociology 67(2): 260-280. 
  • Jasbir Puar (2007) Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Durham: Duke UP).
  • Mitra Rastegar (2013) ‘Emotional Attachments and Secular Imaginings: Western LGBTQ Activism on Iran’, GLQ 19(1): 1-29.
  • Diane Richardson (2000) ‘Constructing Sexual Citizenship, Theorising Sexual Rights’, Critical Social Policy 20(1): 105-135.
  • 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 (50%, 3000 words) in the ST.
Paper (30%) in the LT.
Critical evaluation (20%) in the MT.

The paper will be submitted for an online student conference at the end of LT, and will include the previous submission of a 300 word abstract.

The critical evaluation will be of a cultural event (virtual lecture; exhibition; performance; conference), and submitted at the end of MT (2000 words).

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 26.1
Merit 60.9
Pass 13
Fail 0

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2019/20: 24

Average class size 2019/20: 9

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication