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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3063 Postcolonial Feminisms

20 creditsClass Size: 18

Module manager: Dr Elspeth Mitchell

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

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.


To 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.


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 hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

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 inquiry valued, either professionally or personally, by the students themselves.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

All work presented by the students will be reviewed and assessed by the module leader. The discussion questions will be responded to in the class meetings when they are presented. All students will receive feedback on discussion questions following each class.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2,500 - 2,700 words50.00
Presentation10 discussion questions50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The discussion questions are based on the readings and they are meant to stimulate class discussion. Each student is expected to prepare a written question for each class meeting. Time constraints will not permit the presentation of all the prepared questions, but care will be taken to given all students an opportunity to initiate discussion over the course of the term. All written questions will be collected at the end of each class meeting, including questions not orally presented. To resit this assessed activity students will have to prepare a list of 10 question based on the module readings. There will be no oral component for the resit.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:22:37


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