Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Feminism

UM LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DEPARTMENT Gender and Sexualities

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will provide an introduction to the academic discipline of Gender Studies, Sexualities and Feminism. Since entrants into the Master's Programmes can come from a variety of disciplines, this study unit which is planned for the start of the programmes will help ease them into the discipline. It will include a theoretical background on feminisms, since this is the basis of our programmes, as well as various areas related to women, gender and sexualities. Interesctionality will be kept in the forefront.

The way that the dominant discourse, and the dominant stereotypes inherent therein, shape our perceptions of self and of others, our beliefs and our realities, will be explored. Resultant discriminations, both structural/institutional and on an individual level will also be considered, as well as the impact that these have on individuals and groups.

As such this study-unit will touch on several important and current issues related to the discipline, encouraging the students to look beyond the facade, and 'open' their eyes, and acquire a gendered perspective, and to see beyond the hetereonormative gaze.

Study-Unit Aims:

- To introduce and inform students on the academic disciplines of gender studies (including masculinities), sexualities and feminism;
- To provide a strong theoretical basis and historical understanding of feminisms;
- To explore various areas related to women, gender (including gender identity) and sexualities (including sexual orientation);
- To deeply familiarise students with the concepts of intersectionality, structural and personal discrimination, and their impact on individuals and groups;
- Act as a 'taster' to encourage students to acquire a gendered and non-hetereonormative perspective;
- To introduce the notion of local, European and global activism to students.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to describe and critically assess their understanding of gender studies, sexualities and feminisms in depth and the way that structural inequalities impact on individuals and groups, keeping intersectionality in the forefront.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- apply their acquired gendered and non-hetereonormative perspective to their realities, domestic, employment, leisure, activism and other;
- solidify their foundational knowledge on gender studies, sexualities and feminism to be able to build further on it;
- promote a gendered and non-heteronormative perspective.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Readings

- Davis, Kathy, Evans, Mary & Lorber, Judith (eds) (2006) The Sage Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies. London: Sage.
- De Beauvoir, Simone (2010) The Second Sex. USA: Vintage Books.
- Launius, C. & Hassel, H. (2018) Threshold Concepts in Women's and Gender Studies: Ways of Seeing, Thinking and Knowing. 2nd Ed. New York: Routledge.
- Mottier, Veronique (2013) Sexuality: A very Short Introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
- Richardson, Dianne & Robertson, Victoria (eds) (2015) Introducing Gender and Women's Studies (4th Edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Spade, Joan Z. & Valentine, Catherine G. (2011). The Kaleidoscope of Gender, prisms, patterns, and possibilities.(3rd Ed.). USA: Pine Forge Press (a SAGE publication company).
- Watkins, S.A., Rueda, M. & Rodriguez, M. (2001) Introducing Feminism. Cambridge, UK: Icon Books Ltd.
- Woodward, K. (2011) The Short Guide to Gender. U.K.: Policy Press.

Supplementary Readings:

Further readings related to the sessions will be provided during class.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Essay SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Angele Deguara
Aleksandar Dimitrijevic
Lara Maria Dimitrijevic
Nathalie Grima
Janet Mifsud
Marceline Naudi
Carmen Sammut
Rachael Scicluna
Charlene Vella


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2023/4. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.