Gender & Violence - WOM00007M

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  • Department: Centre for Women's Studies
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Clare Bielby
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

This interdisciplinary module provides a foundation for thinking about how we approach gender and violence from a theoretical feminist perspective, where gender is understood as it intersects with categories such as race, ethnicity, class, dis/ability, sexuality, age. Understanding gender as constitutive of how we think about violence, the module interrogates key theorists on violence, critiquing these from a feminist perspective that draws and builds on foundational second-wave feminist analyses of the subject of violence against women.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

This interdisciplinary module explores different theoretical and conceptual approaches to violence from an explicitly feminist perspective, drawing and building on foundational second-wave feminist analyses of the subject of violence against women. It is particularly concerned with the intersections between violence and gender, where gender is understood as it intersects with categories such as race, ethnicity, dis/ability, age, sexuality, class. Interrogating key theorists on violence, and, in particular, critiquing these from a feminist and gendered perspective as their ideas are applied to contemporary and historical examples of violence, the module will ask the following questions: How does violence differentially affect gendered bodies and gendered lives?; What are the gendered lacunae in established approaches to violence?; What are the connections between different forms or modalities of violence – structural, symbolic, normative, linguistic, aesthetic and direct – and what role does gender play here?; What are the limits of the term ‘violence’?; How might real-world examples of violence challenge these theoretical and conceptual frameworks?; Finally, what is the nature of feminist investments in the subject of violence and can violence ever be a ‘feminist practice’ (Melzer, 2015)?

Module learning outcomes

After successfully completing this module students should:

  • Be able to demonstrate a critical, nuanced understanding of key theoretical approaches to violence from a feminist perspective

  • Be attuned to the intersections between violence and gender with a particular appreciation of how violence differentially affects gendered bodies and gendered lives

  • Be able to successfully apply theoretical and conceptual approaches to violence and gender to real-world examples, testing the limits of these approaches

  • Have enhanced their skills at oral presentation and essay writing.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3,500-4,000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
3,500-4,000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Provisional feedback (subject to external examiners' approval) will normally be given in week 6 of the spring term.

Indicative reading

Arendt, Hannah. On Violence. London: Allen Lane, 1970.

Brownmiller, Susan. Against our Will: Men, Women and Rape. London: Secker and Warburg, 1975.

Butler, Judith. Frames of War: When is Life Grievable. London; New York: Verso, 2009.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth, trans. by Constance Farrington. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967.

Galtung, Johan. ‘Violence, Peace, and Peace Research’. Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 6, No. 3 (1969): 167-191.

Melzer, Patricia. Death in the Shape of a Young Girl: Women’s Political Violence in the Red Army Faction. New York and London: New York University Press, 2015.

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy and Philippe Bourgois, eds. Violence in War and Peace. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.

Wilcox, Lauren B. Bodies of Violence: Theorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Žižek, Slavoj. Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. London: Profile, 2008.



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.