GI411      Half Unit
Gender, Post/coloniality and Development: Critical Perspectives and New Directions

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sumi Madhok Pankhurst House, 11.01G


This course is available on the MPhil/PhD in Gender, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, MSc in Gender (Research), MSc in Gender (Rights and Human Rights), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Peace and Security and MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Places on this course are limited and priority will be given to students from MSc in Gender (Rights and Human Rights), followed by students from other Gender Studies programmes.

This course is normally limited to a maximum of 30 places.


While there are no specific requirements, it is preferred that students have a background in social science or the humanities.

Course content

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the growing body of scholarship that critically interrogates coloniality, gender and developmentalism at various postcolonial sites. It provides an opportunity for students to encounter and critically engage with canonical works within postcolonial and decolonial theories alongside those of gender and feminist theory in order to examine the historical and contemporary policy and practices in relation to gender and development. As such, the course combines a study of the historical/textual/cultural/political and philosophical in relation to and alongside the political-economic in order to explore questions of developmentalism, critical race theories, coloniality, decoloniality, subalternity, orientalism, representation, agency, neoliberalism, globalisation, human rights and humanitarianism. Finally, the course also introduces students to new directions in contemporary theoretical thinking that are either explicit critiques of postcolonial scholarship, i.e. texts such as ‘Empire’ and ‘Ethics’ or are critical engagements and even critical extensions of postcolonial thinking into new directions e.g. Transnationalism.


15 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the AT.

This course runs in Autumn Term. 

In line with departmental policy, there is a reading week in week 6.

Formative coursework

A formative essay (1500 words).

Indicative reading

  • Fanon, Frantz. (1963) The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Inc..
  • Rodney, Walter ( 1972) 'How Europe Underdeveloped Africa', Verso.
  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. (2003) Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practising Solidarity, Duke University Press, Durham
  • Escobar, Arturo, (1995) Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, Princeton, N.J, Princeton University Press
  • Kapoor, Ilan, (2008) The Postcolonial Politics of Development, Routledge, London: New York;
  • Mignolo, Walter, (2000), Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J;
  • Said, Edward. (1985, 1995) 'Orientalism', Penguin, Harmondsworth;;
  • Spivak, Gayatri. Chakravorty (1999) A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, Harvard University Press.
  • Grewal, Inderpal and Caren Kaplan ( 1994) Scattered Hegemonies
  • Mbembe, Achille ‘Postcolony’, University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Mignolo, W.D. and Walsh, C.E., (2018) 'On Decoloniality: Concepts, analytics, praxis' Duke University Press.Moraña,
  • M., Dussel, E.D. and Jáuregui, C.A. eds. (2008) Coloniality at large: Latin America and the postcolonial debate. Duke University Press.
  • Mahmood, S. ( 2005) The Politics of Piety, Princeton University Press.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the WT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 45.7
Merit 42.8
Pass 11.6
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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