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The Politics of Gender - POL00066I

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  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Alasia Nuti
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

Gender shapes our political and social landscape and our personal interactions. The module will explore gender theories and apply them to political issues at a domestic, international and transnational level.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

‘Politics is gendered’. ‘Gender is a political issue’. What do these statements exactly mean? And, how can gender theories help us make sense of politics and political theory? This module aims to introduce students to gender theories and to enable them to draw upon these theories in making sense of political issues, broadly conceived. The module will guide students through the established cannon of theoretical work on gender, including scholarship which considers the relationship between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’, on trans* issues, discourse and performativity theory, intersectionality, (post)coloniality, masculinity, sexuality, and social reproduction theory. It will also explore how ideas about the nation state and our transnational order are gendered. In addition to analysing the contributions and challenges of gender theory to thinking about politics, we will engage with a wide variety of positions within gender studies to appreciate the internal diversity about political issues characterising and dividing such a rich body of scholarship and activism.

Module learning outcomes

Upon completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Explain, and critically evaluate, the most important theoretical approaches to understanding gender;
  • Demonstrate understanding of the political nature of gender
  • Identify how a gender lens can shift our understandings of what constitutes an important political question;
  • Critically analyse key political (domestic and international) issues through a gender lens.

This module will also equip students with a range of key transferable skills:

  • The ability to participate thoughtfully and actively in discussions over gender and political issues;
  • The necessary skills to critically evaluate theoretical assumptions;

Theoretical tools in written and oral course-related activities.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London and New York: Routledge, 1990).

R.W. Connell, Masculinities (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995).

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley, LA: University of California Press, 1990).

Patricia H. Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment (New York: Routledge, 1990)

Silvia Federici Revolution at Point Zero: Housework, reproduction, and feminist struggle (Oakland: PM Press., 2012)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.