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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF5063M Postcolonial Feminisms

30 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Prof. John Mowitt

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This is a module in feminist theory and politics as these have developed in the context of the period of decolonization and its wake. Emphasis will fall on theoretical formulations concerning sexual difference and the social division of gender as these have been produced by women writing to or from former European colonies. Attention will also be given to questions posed by and for feminism within postcolonial metropoles, including the question of theory as such.


This module will provide students with a context in which to read and discuss many of the crucial (theoretically rich, historically significant) texts in feminist theory as they engage the postcolonial condition both in Europe and outside, today and in the past.

Learning outcomes
1. Students will become familiar with a body of theoretical insights relevant to understanding the experience of women in the history of decolonization.
2. Students will develop a perspective through which to think carefully about the history of the present.
3. Students will develop their capacities to express their ideas both orally and in writing.
4. Students will demonstrate their competence and preparation for independent and innovative scholarly research.
5. Students will engage in professional mentorship.
6. For MA students, in particular, the expectation is that these learning outcomes will exhibit the intellectual sophistication and diligence one would expect from a student transitioning to postgraduate level study.


The syllabus is organized by three rubrics:
1) Engendering Revolution, where readings may include, “Algeria Unveiled” from A Dying Colonialism by Frantz Fanon and Djamila Boupacha: The Story of the Torture of a Young Algerian Girl which Shocked Liberal French Opinion, by Simone de Beauvoir and Gisèle Halimi;
2) Resisting Gender, where readings may include, Women of Algiers in Their Apartment by Assia Djebar and “French Feminism in an International Frame” from Yale French Studies 62 by Gayatri Spivak;
3) Fundamental Critiques where readings may include, “Feminist Theory, Embodiment and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival” from Cultural Anthropology 6:2 by Saba Mahmood and “Who’s Behind the ‘Others’?” as “Anti-Sexism or Anti-Racism: A False Dilemma” from Separate and Dominate by Christine Delphy.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours270.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will be encouraged to read carefully through the texts assigned in the module, prepare to contribute to class discussion, and develop individual research topics that turn the concerns of the module toward areas of enquiry valued, either professionally or personally, by the students.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Each seminar presentation will receive direct and immediate feedback; the final essay will receive extensive written comment. As students will be required to develop their own research topics for the final essay, office hours will be made available for the working out of suitable topics, relevant bibliography etc.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4,500 - 5,000 words50.00
PresentationLead one seminar50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

MA students will be required to present and comment upon one of the module readings to the seminar. To resit this assessed activity students will be required to produce a 750 word summary of one of the module readings.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:04:49


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