programme

Introduction to Gender

Home/ Introduction to Gender
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHS2028014

Semester and Year Offered: 1st semester, 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Krishna Menon

Email of course coordinator: krishnamenon@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: Students should be registered for the course.

Course Objectives/Description:

Introduction to Gender is a course that intends to, as the title suggests, introduce students to the various aspects of the term gender. It seeks to familiarize students with some of the major academic debates on the concept of gender. The course also seeks to share with students a historical account of the changing nature of the understanding of the term gender. Gender is a word that has like most other words, a complex history and associated politics. It has changing connotations and meanings. This course aims to unravel and understand this evolution and mark some of the important milestones. It seeks to sensitize the student to a gendered way of thinking and understanding society.

The course aims to share a toolkit that would help the students

Course Outcomes:

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • to unpack the category of gender,
  • to understand the evolution of gender studies as a discipline and,
  • to acquire a basic understanding of some key concepts in gender studies
  • to become familiar with some key debates while pursuing Gender Studies as an academic field

 

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1

Understanding Gender: This module will explore the evolution of the term gender with a special focus on the sex versus gender debate. How have scholars and writers, activists and others understood the two categories? The implication of how gender is understood would determine the what could be studied, how does it have to be studied and why should it be studied? This would be explored by using appropriate reading materials in the form of essays and book chapters.

Module 2

Women’s Studies/Gender Studies: This module will engage with the idea of women’s studies/gender studies. The debate around questions whether this is a perspective or is it a discipline? This debate would be placed in the larger historical and political context of feminist politics. The status of gender studies/women’s studies in India would also be addressed.

Module 3

Is time gendered?: Social science investigations are determined to a very great extent by the two matrices of time and space. This module will try and look at the matrix of time from a gendered perspective. Is time universal and uniform, or is it experienced by human being differently. What is the politics of time?

Module 4

Is space gendered? : Continuing from the above theme, this module aims to look at the category of space from a gendered vantage point. There is of late considerable feminist writing on the gendered construction, use and conception of space and the resulting marginalization and exclusion that occurs. The debates on the use and access to spaces of certain kinds, especially urban spaces have become the focus of great deal of academic attention and writing. This module seeks to familiarize students with some aspects of this current debate.

Module 5

Some basic concepts (i) - Intersectionality: This module would be focussed on one of the conceptual categories that is used very often and very effectively in gender studies classrooms- that of intersectionality. This module will try and explore the meaning of the term and the various debates on the concept of intersectionality.

Module 6

Some basic concepts (ii) – Caste: This module will try to address the debates and politics centred on the idea, practice and institution of caste. This module would try to map the ‘imagination of equality’ with reference to the politics of caste/gender/ sexualities/religion/work and so on.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • First Assessment – Class Test- 40%
  • Second Assessment- Critical Essay – 40%
  • Third Assessment- Class participation and attendance- 20%

Reading List:

Module 1

  • Alison M Jagger and Iris Marion Young- A Companion to Feminist Philosophy (chapter 29 ‘Gender’ by Linda Nicholson). Blackwell.
  • Gender in Political Theory by Judith Squires. ( Chapter 2, Framing Gender)
  • Blackwell Companion to Gender Studies edited by Essed, Goldberg and
  • Kobayashi. ( Iris Marion Young-Lived Body versus Gender)

Module 2

  • Blackwell Companion to Gender Studies edited by Essed, Goldberg and Kobayashi. ( Mary Maynard- Women’ Studies)
  • Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies edited by Kathy Davis, Mary
  • Evan and Judith Lorber ( Introduction and chapters 1, 2 and 3)
  • Women’s Studies in India edited by Mary E. John. Introduction
  • Women’s Studies in India: An Overview. Rekha Pappu
  • Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies edited by Kathy Davis, Mary
  • Evan and Judith Lorber ( Chapter 26, Utopian Visions)

Module 3

  • Gender and the Politics of Time. Valerie Bryson ( Introduction, Chapter 4, 7,8 and 9)
  • Space, Place and Gender by Dorren Massey ( Chapter 11)

Module 4

  • Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies edited by Kathy Davis, Mary Evan and Judith Lorber ( Chapter 34 by Tovi Fenster)
  • Space, Place and Gender by Dorren Massey- Chapter 8-11.
  • Gender, Caste and the Imagination of Equality- edited by Anupama Rao (Caste, Gender and Spatial Politics by V Geetha, Urban Displacement and
  • the Remaking of Caste and Gender)

Module 5

Module 6

  • Gendering Caste Through a Feminist Lens by Uma Chakravarti
  • Gender, Caste and the Imagination of Equality- edited by Anupama Rao (Following chapters)
  1. Introduction.
  2. Caste, Masculinity and Alternate Genealogies of the Feminist Subject.
  3. Queering Caste. The ‘Madness of Manu’: Unpacking the Riddle of Graded Violence against Women.
  4. Pasmanda Politics and Muslim (Minority) Discourse in India.

ADDITIONAL REFERENCE:

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Module 5