GI421      Half Unit
Sexuality, Gender and Culture

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Carrie Hamilton


This course is available on the 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 (Rights and Human Rights), MSc in Gender (Sexuality), MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Human Rights and Politics and MSc in Political Science (Global Politics). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students.


Students from outside the Gender Department wanting to take GI421 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, trans*, and social justice perspectives. Indicative topics include: colonialism and sexuality, sexualisation of culture, sexuality and political economy, pleasure and danger; pornography and sale of sex debates; LGBT emergence (these vary due to teaching team). It cuts across theory and social movements and requires students consider a reflexive approach to their own interests and perspectives. 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 'Transnational Sexual Politics’ (GI422), though with different forms of assessment.


This course runs during AT. It is taught alongside students from GI422.

There will be a reading week in week 6 in line with department policy.

Formative coursework

One 1500 word critical analysis to be submitted during AT.

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%, 3000 words) in the WT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.5
Merit 56.2
Pass 14.3
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