GI424      Half Unit
Gender Theories: An Interdisciplinary Approach

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Aiko Holvikivi


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Gender, 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, Media and Culture, MSc in Gender, Peace and Security and MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities. 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 as a basis for case study evaluation and research.

It is a half unit course which runs for 10 weeks. It begins with a review of the formative influences on the development of gender theory, including the sex/gender distinction, race and intersectionality, production/reproduction.  It enables students to consider the implications for analysis of a variety of sites and topics including coloniality,  power and social and psychic structures of gender, representation, queer theory, 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.


This half-unit foundational course runs in the Autumn term. It is taught through lectures and seminars.

Formative coursework

Short writing assignment .

Indicative reading

  • Valerie Amos and Pratibha Parmar (1984) Challenging Imperial Feminism. Feminist Review 17: 3-19.
  • Sedef Arat-Koç (2018) Migrant and domestic care workers: Unfree labour, crises of social reproduction and the unsustainability of life under ‘vagabond capitalism’. in Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts, eds. Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Judith Butler (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge.
  • Kimberle Crenshaw (1989) Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum 139-168.
  • Sylvia Rivera Cusicanqui (2012) Ch’ixinakax utxiwa: A Reflection on the Practices and Discourses of Decolonization. South Atlantic Quarterly 111(1): 95-109.
  • Gail Lewis (2017) Questions of Presence. Feminist Review 117: 1-19.
  • Petrus Liu (2012) Queer Human Rights in and Against China: Marxism and the Figuration of the Human. Social Text 110 30(1): 71-89.
  • Santa Cruz Feminist of Color Collective (2014) Building on “the Edge of Each Other’s Battles”: A Feminist of Color Multidimensional Lens. Hypatia 29(1): 23-40


Coursework (100%, 3000 words) in the AT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 33.3
Merit 58.3
Pass 8.3
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Gender Studies

Total students 2022/23: 150

Average class size 2022/23: 15

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (MT & LT)

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