Media and film studies

Gender, Space and Culture

Module code: V3053
Level 5
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

Why is space important to our understanding of communication? How do subjects travel through space in order to construct narratives of identity? How are spaces moralised, sexed and gendered? How do they accrue significance or symbolism?

In the last decade there has been a convergence across many academic disciplines to comprehend spatiality. Social spaces are never empty or static, they are full of the shifting dynamics of power and politics. On this module you will study to what extent gender is articulated in public and private spaces, so that they may be considered to be predominantly feminine, masculine, queer or transgendered. You will also examine how spaces and places are dynamic, unstable and mutable in relation to competing social differences. We will look at a variety of sites of the everyday, from the domestic to the visual, from bodies to landscape and virtual realities using key theoretical concepts such as 'performativity', 'representation' and 'transectionality' to interpret how our culture is thoroughly imbued with gendered and spatialized assumptions.

Topics may include: thinking about gendered journeys such as package holidays or migration; the boundaries and borders of the self; the national and the global; social inclusion and exclusion; and representations of the feminized underclass, or the masculinized professional. We will also consider queer cultural geographies as represented in films; 'freaky bodies' and transexuality online; and the spatial politics of protest on the streets and in the home.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of how conceptions of space underlie social and cultural organisation and forms;
  • Deploy critical analysis when dealing with conceptual and theoretical approaches to gender, space and culture, specifically (but not limited to) theories of representation, intersectionality and performativity;
  • Present conceptual material clearly and accessibly in discussion, making use of a variety of resources in communicating ideas effectively, orally and through written and visual forms such as photography;
  • Develop an informed and scholarly argument in written or oral form which demonstrates familiarity with relevant academic research in the field, adopting appropriate academic conventions in fluency and presentation.