Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
Feminist Cultural Theory
The module will introduce and assess the main theoretical resources mobilised by feminist cultural analysis. This will include historical materialism, structuralism, semiotics, poststructuralism, discourse theory, postcolonial theory, deconstruction and psychoanalysis. Attention will be paid to theories of difference, gender, cultural identity and sexuality, race and class formations in relation to sexual difference and the exchange of women. The module will trace a history of the development of the main theoretical debates in feminist analysis of culture.
Starting with careful readings from the current diversity and conflicts within contemporary feminist discourses around issues of class, race and sexuality, the module will follow a series of seminars which focus on selected texts that will give the students first hand reading knowledge of feminist theories around the constitution of social relations and gender power, the role of language and discourse, the critique of logocentrism, the constitution of the subject and sexual difference, the relations between sexual, social and cultural difference. Major areas of feminist theory will also be studied: feminist fetishism and masquerade which have been developed in film theory, feminist interventions in discourse theory, deconstruction and structural anthropology. There will be a series of seminars on developments in feminist re-theorisations of psychoanalysis associated specifically with writers in France.
Form of teaching
Eleven 2-3 hour seminars aimed at developing skills of close reading and discussion of theoretical texts supported by work in small groups.
Form of assessment
An essay of 4,000-6,000 words to be submitted by the first day of the second term. (Essays should be 6,000 words maximum, including all bibliographies, footnotes and appendices)
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