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Unit information: The Cultural Imagination of Gender in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

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. Connor Doak
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Unit Information

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.

Your learning on this unit

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.

How you will learn

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.

How you will be assessed

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).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.