GSSA 2105 - Gender and Race in a Postcolonial World

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

Beginning from the insight that both `gender? and `race? are defined differently in different contexts, this course studies how these identities are constructed in transnational and cross-cultural contexts, including colonial encounters, postcolonial politics, and contemporary development discourse. Some central questions will be: How has colonial history influenced concepts of race, gender and nation? Are Western concepts of race and gender applicable to the experiences and ideas of 'other' cultures? What do those who write as 'Third World Women' say about Western feminism? How does masculinity operate on a global scale? How do women, men and transgendered people negotiate with local and global constructions of gendered and/or national identity? The emphasis throughout the course will be on the ways in which cultural and gender identities are never encountered in isolation but are always constructed `intersectionally? in terms of one another. Case studies may be drawn from Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Middle East and Australia, and will include some recent 'hot topics' such as sex trafficking, women in Islam, and/or the Northern Territory Intervention.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GSSA 2105
    Course Gender and Race in a Postcolonial World
    Coordinating Unit Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 Arts courses
    Incompatible GWSI 2005, GWSI 3005, GWSI 2105, GWSI 2105EX
    Course Description Beginning from the insight that both `gender? and `race? are defined differently in different contexts, this course studies how these identities are constructed in transnational and cross-cultural contexts, including colonial encounters, postcolonial politics, and contemporary development discourse. Some central questions will be: How has colonial history influenced concepts of race, gender and nation? Are Western concepts of race and gender applicable to the experiences and ideas of 'other' cultures? What do those who write as 'Third World Women' say about Western feminism? How does masculinity operate on a global scale? How do women, men and transgendered people negotiate with local and global constructions of gendered and/or national identity? The emphasis throughout the course will be on the ways in which cultural and gender identities are never encountered in isolation but are always constructed `intersectionally? in terms of one another. Case studies may be drawn from Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Middle East and Australia, and will include some recent 'hot topics' such as sex trafficking, women in Islam, and/or the Northern Territory Intervention.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Anna Szorenyi

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate understanding of the transnational and cross-cultural dimensions of gender relations
    2 Demonstrate understanding of the social construction of race and gender in colonial and postcolonial contexts
    3 Locate, access and evaluate relevant sources of information on topics related to gender and race
    4 Compare, synthesise and evaluate competing perspectives on contemporary cross-cultural issues in gender and sexuality with attention to issues of social justice and ethics
    5 Conduct in-depth research into a specific topic relating to gender and race in a global or local context
    6 Use appropriate language, terminology and concepts for discussing gender and feminist thought in global contexts
    7 Utilise understanding of diversity to communicate more ethically and effectively in cross-cultural and gender-diverse contexts
    8 Construct a clear, coherent and independent argument which responds to a particular question and is supported by appropriate scholarly evidence, within identified timeframes.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 4
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5,6, 7, 8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6,7
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-8
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3,6,7,8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,4,6,7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    GSSA 2105 Course Reader
    The reader contains the set readings for each topic. It will be available for sale from the Unified Online Shop. Students are expected to purchase this Reader and use it to prepare for each week’s classes.

    Recommended Resources
    • Bulbeck, Chilla (1998) Re-Orienting Western Feminisms: women’s diversity in a ‘postcolonial’ world. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    • Mohanty, Chandra (2003) Feminism without borders: Decolonizing theory, practicing solidarity. Durham: Duke University Press.
    • Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Maryrose Casey and Fiona Nicoll (Eds.) (2008), Transnational Whiteness Matters, Lexington Books.
    • Spencer, Stephen (2006) Race and ethnicity : culture, identity and representation London ; New York : Routledge Caliendo,Stephen M and McIlwain, Charlton D (eds.) (2011) The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxley: Routledge.
    Students who do not have a background in Gender Studies should consider consulting at least one of the following texts early in the course:
    • Connell, Raewyn (2009) Gender: In World Perspective. Cambridge: Polity. (Good introduction)
    • Aulette, J.R., J. Wittner & K. Blakely (2009). Gendered Worlds. New York: Oxford University Press (for a clear basic guide to a wide range of gender issues)
    • Beasley, C. (2005) Gender and Sexuality: Critical Theories, Critical Thinkers. London: Sage (for a more advanced guide to theoretical ideas)
    • Davis, K., M. Evans & J. Lorber (2006) Handbook of Gender and Women’s Studies London: Sage (for general reference)
    • Holmes, Mary (2009) Gender and Everyday Life. London: Routledge. 
    Online Learning
    The course has a MyUni page which will provide announcements, course information, discussion, essay topics, web resources and advice for your assignments. You can set MyUni to email you announcements when they are posted. All announcements posted on MyUni will be considered to have been communicated to students, so it is your responsibility to make sure you don’t miss this important information. To find the course MyUni page visit https://myuni.adelaide.edu.au
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The basis for this course is reading from your course reader and further reading lists. Each week the lecture will provide an overview of your reading and help you to understand and synthesise it, developing an overall map of the course content and its relation to contemporary issues and events. In your tutorial/online discussion each week you will develop your own abilities by (a) practicing your reading, interpretation and discussion skills, (b) working with other students on finding answers and exploring problems, and (c) asking for assistance on anything that is not clear. Your assignments are where you practice and demonstrate your knowledge, skills and understanding. The majority of assignments will be in written essay format. Feedback on your assignments will help you identify areas that need further work.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1x2hr lecture per week or equivalent 24 hours per semester
    1x1hr tutorial per week or equivalent 12 hours per semester
    6 hrs /wk on set tutorial readings 72 hours per semester
    2 hrs/wk research 24 hours per semester
    2 hrs/wk assigment preparation 24 hours per semester
    TOTAL = 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Introduction: Key concepts: gender, race, spectatorship
    Week 2 Gender and colonialism
    Week 3 Gender and nationalism
    Week 4 Colonial feminisms and the Third World critique
    Week 5 Gender, globalisation and development
    Week 6 Women’s rights, cultural rights & ‘harmful traditional practices’
    Week 7 Contemporary gender scandals I: Sex work or ‘sex trafficking’?
    Week 8 Contemporary gender scandals II: Women and Islam
    Week 9 Contemporary gender scandals III: Sex abuse in Indigenous communities
    Week 10 Negotiating the global I: Masculinities & femininities
    Week 11 Negotiating the global II: Sexualities, identities and sexual racisms
    Week 12 Revision and essay consultations
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Tutorial attendance and participation (inc small group exercises) Formative and Summative 10% 1-7
    3000 word research essay Formative and Summative 45% 1-7
    500 word annotated bibliography Formative and Summative 10% 1-7
    2000 word essay Formative and Summative 35% 1-7
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. If you miss more than 2 tutorials for any reason you will fail the participation grade. Students with valid reasons for non-attendance may be offered the opportunity to make up for missed tutorials by doing extra written work as negotiated with their tutors.

    Assessment Detail
    Literature Search Exercise
    This task is designed to improve your library search skills and help you discover how to find scholarly literature. Your task is to develop a search strategy, find the most relevant and interesting academic sources on your chosen topic, and then write a short annotated bibliography showcasing your findings. 

    Minor Essay
    A list of topics will be circulated. Your task is to write a 1500 - 2000 word argumentative essay giving YOUR opinion on the topic (for, against, or something in between), and providing reasons and evidence to back up your opinion. You must refer to relevant articles from your course reader.

    Research Assignment
    You will complete a research essay on a particular region, issue, or topic. Topics will be circulated in mid-semester.

    Tutorial Participation
    Each week you need to come to tutorial class well-prepared. This means listening to the
    lecture and reading the readings set down for that week.  In class we will complete small group exercises.  You will be assessed on level of partcipation in discussion and exercises, and evidence of engagement with course materials
    Submission
    Format: 
    All assignments must:
    • Be 1.5 line spaced
    • Be referenced in Harvard style
    • State the assignment topic at the top of the first page
    Submission
    • Assignments must be submitted online through MyUni and will be marked electronically.
    • Turnitin will be used for plagiarism checking.
    • Extensions must be sought before the due date by contacting your tutor.
    • Late assignments without an extension will be penalised 2% per day.

    If for some reason you are unable to submit your assignment electronically, it may be submitted in hard copy via the assignment box in the School of Social Sciences, Room G18, Napier Building, OR you may post it with a postmark on or before the due date, to:
    Your tutor’s name
    DX 650 213
    Gender Studies and Social Analysis
    University of Adelaide
    SA 5005

    Statement of Acknowledgement of Original Work
    By submitting your assignment you are agreeing to the following:

    I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have also read the University's Academic Honesty Policy.
    I give permission for my assessment work to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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