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Unit information: The Cultural Imagination of Gender in 2021/22

Unit name The Cultural Imagination of Gender
Unit code MODLM0023
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Wells
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit provides students with an understanding of the theoretical debates which have shaped gender identities, both historically and within contemporary criticism. The unit analyses gender roles across a variety of nation states within and beyond Europe, as they are represented and indeed subverted through a series of spheres (aesthetic, cultural, social, and ideological). Drawing on a broad range of sources, from literary and visual material to socio-linguistics and political discourse, students will address how gender has been imagined, reproduced, and problematised both within and between different cultures. Using the MA's comparative approach, the unit engages with debates around feminism, masculinity, and the linguistic foundations of gender construction. Focal points will vary from year to year so as to accommodate staff research interests, asking how gender is formed through key cultural contexts, including literary writing, visual media, parenthood, political dissent, military conflict, and language.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

a) identify key issues and thinkers in the field of gender studies while engaging with debates in contemporary gender theory.

b) understand how to apply gender theory as an interpretive tool to specific cultural forms (e.g. literary fiction and political pamphlets).

c) investigate how constructions of gender vary within and across cultural borders.

d) evaluate the advantages and limitations of gender theory with respect to developing their intercultural knowledge.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered online through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Details

5,000 word essay (testing ILOs a-d)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MODLM0023).