International relations

Sex and Violence

Module code: 966M1
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Essay

Sex and Death in Global Politics  explores the multiple connections between gender and violence in contemporary international politics in historical and theoretical perspective. War and other forms of collective violence seem to be everywhere in world affairs, but it has often been commented that the many manifestations of gender are less visible. At times aspects of gender violence (such as war rape) seem to enter into the realm of academic International
Relations, whilst other questions (such as the inclusion of homosexuals in the military) have relevance for public policy and national culture. But many other issues (such as media representations of gender violence, the continuum between 'peace' and 'war' violence, or the connection between armies and prostitution) are more commonly discussed within sociology, political theory and history. This module will examine a broad range of such questions from an inter-disciplinary angle, with a particular stress on theoretical perspectives and academicpolitical controversies.

Topics will include:

gender in war and society; the intersection of race, class, and gender in collective violence; military masculinity; women at war and the question of the 'feminine' in the perpetration of violence; wartime sexual violence; genocide and 'gendercide'; sex industries and violence; homosexuality and military culture (including queer theory perspectives and recent debates about 'pink-washing' and 'homonationalism'); feminism, anti-feminism and gender studies in the academy; gender and the ethics of war; and gender violence in popular culture.

Module learning outcomes

  • Identify and summarise the core academic debates about gender and violence in international politics
  • Compare and contrast historical and conceptual material on a broad range of questions related to gender, violence and international politics.
  • Critically interpret recent empirical and theoretical controversies related to global patterns of gender and violence.
  • Appraise the connection and disconnection between issues of gender, violence and other aspects of international relations.
  • Develop their own analysis of a selected issue related to the module.