Faculty of Arts


Gender: Global and Local


How do gender identity, difference and politics shape our sense of who we are, and our social and political worlds?

In this course we will explore the fundamental issues that gender studies reveals for us: the difference between sex and gender; the meaning and significance of identity and difference; how we think about sexualities; the influence of concepts like "masculinity" and "femininity" and how these are embodied and represented in social and political life, in person and online. 

We’ll examine gender as it’s mobilised in social and political movements, both national and global, and as it’s expressed in the media and in popular culture. We’ll also look at the ways in which gender shapes our understanding of history and our reading of literary texts, and at social issues like the division of labour and sexual violence. Finally, we’ll explore the ways in which thinking about gender has changed over the past half a century, and continues to change today. 

Guest lecturers expert on these topics will help us navigate them and understand what is at stake.

This interdisciplinary course is suitable for all students with an interest in exploring the meaning and significance of gender. It will equip you for more advanced courses in gender studies, but also for further study in the social sciences, humanities and law.

This course has five principal objectives. By the end of the course, you should:

  1. Be familiar with the fundamental concepts of gender analysis: the sex/gender distinction, the identity/difference binary, the social construction of masculinity and femininity and the relationship between gender and sexuality
  2. Understand the significance of these core concepts in the social, political and cultural worlds
  3. Understand how the study of gender contributes to other academic fields, particularly in the social sciences and humanities
  4. Be able to critically analyse written and media texts that deal with gender, and be able to present your analysis in writing
  5. Be able to reflect critically upon your own views and experiences of gender, to present your views to others and to engage in constructive discussion about them


Coursework + exam

Availability 2021

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Katherine Smits


GENDER 101: 15.0 points



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