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Contemporary Feminist Theorising

4 credits

GEND 6100 (Diploma / MSc)
GEND 7100 (MPhil)
GEND 8100 (PhD)

This course provides an introduction to themes, issues and conflicts in contemporary feminist theory. The course pays particular attention to the shift from the unifying themes in earlier feminist theorising to the de-stabilising influences of recent social theory, for example black feminist theory and postmodernist thought and praxis.

Readings and seminars address several debates within feminism around constructions of femininity, the category of ‘woman’, the politics of difference, conceptions of power, the body, performances of gender and the stability of sexed bodies and sexual identity. Through critical engagement, students begin to explore the nexus between classic works of feminist theory and more contemporary and emergent theories of feminism and feminist thought.


  • Appreciate the contribution of feminist theory to the analysis of social processes and discursive practices;
  • Understand and explain key approaches and concepts in contemporary feminist theory;
  • Apply critically theoretical concepts derived from the field of feminist theory to practical and professional concerns which emerge in the workplace and the wider society.