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Introduction to Gender Studies: Discourses, Practices and Mediations




Admissions requirements



In what ways does gender play a role in our daily lives and in our societies? How are understandings of gender and sexuality shaped by the media and how do they inflect media representations in turn? How do material factors and emotions interact in creating (self)perceptions of gender? If we assume that practices of gender depend on a variety of social aspects, how can we relate to each other’s struggles across cultural, historical, economic and other boundaries, nationally and transnationally?

The course will address these and other related questions by providing an overview of ‘classical’ and contemporary theorizations of gender. Navigating the field of gender studies, we will start by looking into the history of debate about gender and sexuality, and the key definitions developed by feminist critics. This will include engaging with ways of ‘doing’ femininity and masculinity and constructing gendered identity at the interface of race and sex. Following this introduction into the concepts and approaches, the course will take a geopolitical perspective on gender, focusing on the challenges specific to the global North (weeks 3 & 4) and South (weeks 5 & 6). The first of these sections will address the questions of gender and sexuality (rights) as well as politics of work and building social networks in the contexts of migration, focusing on the role of the media and affect in gendering social practices. The second section will approach the issues of social mobility and transnational visibility by critically assessing the politics of development from gendered perspectives.

Central to all discussions will be the role of the media and the issues of representation in shaping discourses and practices of gender. The examples in focus will therefore include films, TV series, the new media, literary texts, theatre productions and visual art.

Weekly topics:
Week 1: Approaching gender and sexuality
Week 2: Theorizing gender
Week 3: Post-feminism, LGBT rights and the media
Week 4: Gender, migration and (affective) labour
Week 5: Gender in the times of ‘development’
Week 6: Gender and transnational visibility
Week 7: Debate and poster session
Week 8: Reading week

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to: *describe the main conceptualizations of gender, including its intersections with other categories of difference such as race, class and sexuality; *explain major approaches used in gender analysis and the role of the media in the processes of gendering; *relate to practices and conceptualizations of gender in several non-Western areas (Africa, Latin America and South Asia); *apply critical gender-sensitive perspectives in discussing social issues such as migration, work and politics; *prepare and deliver group presentation; *write a well-argued analytical essay.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

This course will be conducted as a seminar, with two 2-hour sessions per week, running from week 1-7. In each session we will be discussing key readings and apply their insights to different textual and visual materials. In weeks 3-6, the seminar discussion will be complemented by a group presentation, in which a designated group of students gives a presentation in relation to the topic of the session. The lecturer will provide reading guidelines, clarify difficult terms, as well as contextualize the readings. The last week will include a film discussion and a poster session, for which each group of students will prepare a creative visual representation and a summary of the presentation they had done earlier, relating it to the key conceptual points of the course. Students are expected to participate actively in classroom discussions and to bring in materials relating to the topics addressed.


  • In-class participation, 15%, ongoing weeks 1 – 7

  • Feedback paper (ca. 1000 words), 20%, for a session of your choice in weeks 2-4

  • Class group presentation (approx. 15 minutes), 15%, each student is in a group dedicated to a session in weeks 2-7

  • Poster presentation, 10%, Week 7, session 2; each group presents a poster based on a reworked version of their earlier presentation

  • Final analytical essay (ca. 2500 words), 40%, week 8


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

A reading list will be provided in the course syllabus.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Ksenia Robbe