At the end of the course,
- you have acquired a general knowledge of a diversity and plurality of perspectives on gender as a key category of identity;
- you can identify the workings of gender in selected case studies and you can critically analyse these;
- you are sensitive to cultural differences with respect to gender and you can articulate these differences;
- you can write an academic paper, applying the concepts of gender and intersectionality to a case study productively.
In the wake of #MeToo and with debates about incels and other forms of toxic masculinity, gender-neutral toilets, migrants who supposedly do not know how to behave towards women, and motions to have Dutch passports no longer list gender, gender issues appear to be at the heart not only of private, but also social and political life. How can we use ‘gender’ as a critical lens to understand contemporary issues in society and why does this analysis need to be ‘intersectional’? How does gender intersect with other factors such as race/ethnicity, religion, class, sexual orientation, etc.? What are the complex and symbolic meanings that attach to it? How do social and cultural institutions or practices maintain gender inequality and/or promote gender and diversity? This introductory interdisciplinary course aims to introduce you to key concepts in cultural gender studies. It does so through an assortment of debates, ranging from questions of media and representation, to issues of the body and sexuality, gender and religion, sports, and politics. Making explicit use of the international dimensions of the classroom, the course aims to foster intercultural discussion so as to enable you to develop your understanding of cultural differences with respect to gender while cultivating an informed perspective on the role of gender as a cultural construction in contemporary culture, maintained and sustained through representations and discourse. At the end of the course, you will write an academic paper demonstrating your comprehension of and ability to employ the concepts of gender and intersectionality in an insightful and productive way.