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Contemporary Visions of Gender and Sexuality


Admission requirements

Not applicable


The seminar begins at the end of the sixties, with the second wave of feminism, and continues up to the most radical thought of today. We will consider how the genre of the manifesto frames feminist thought as a living theory—an intervention—to enact change in social orders. You will have the opportunity to analyze a manifesto of your choice at the start of the course and then write your own at the end in order to examine how what is personal is also political. Alongside different kinds of written statements and theoretical interventions, we will read, view and discuss controversial artworks and literature, like Beyoncé’s Formation video (2016) and David Wojnarowicz’s hard-hitting prose about queer life in the age of AIDS in “Living Close to the Knives” (1991). The weekly sessions are dedicated to different interventions made by agitated groups within feminist and gender studies, who want to develop the field in new directions such as through intersectionality and disability studies. Key concepts like geopolitics, performativity and post-feminism are also addressed as further interventions in how we envision gender and sexuality in contemporary times.

Course objectives

After completion of the course:

  • the student has the knowledge and understanding of the main current debates about the role that gender and sexuality play in culture, film and literature (from the 1960s to the present);

  • the student is capable of developing theoretical insights into gender and and sexuality as a discursive, social, technological construction through text and image analysis;

  • the student can recognize the role of gender and sexuality play in literature, film, and society, and futher, he/she is able to reflect critically on the sexual dimensions of literary and film criticism, historization, and debates on the future of gender and sexuality studies.


The timetable is available on the website.

Mode of instruction

Lectures mixed with workgroup class meetings

Course Load

Contemporary Visions – 280 total

  • Course meetings: 26 hrs

  • Preparation for meetings: 216 hrs

  • Assignments and Exams: 38 hrs

Assessment method

Analysis assignment (30%);
Group Zine (pass/fail, assignment completion is requirement to gain entrance to exam);
End-term Written Exam (70%)


Texts are posted on Blackboard

Reading list

Longer academic texts are available through the ‘collegeplank’ in the University Library and can be copied on site. Shorter texts are posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis for classes, exams and final mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs



For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the coordinator Dr. E.A. Steinbock .

Student administration: Van Wijkplaats
Coordinator of studies: ms. drs. E.M.T.Poolman


For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies.