GEND 3018 - Contemporary Theories in Gender Studies

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

This is the capstone course for students undertaking the Gender Studies major. Students will explore key debates in gender studies and will examine the influence of Western Marxism, psychoanalysis and feminism on contemporary society, as well as considerations of the cross-disciplinary traditions of structuralism and post-structuralism. By critically engaging with contemporary Australian feminisms and 'New' French feminisms, with an eye to their historical roots, students will also learn about female psychosexual development and the bodily experience of sexuality. The goal of this course is to provide students with skills to be able to transfer these concepts/ideas to contemporary issues thereby highlighting the interconnectedness of feminist philosophy and practice.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEND 3018
    Course Contemporary Theories in Gender Studies
    Coordinating Unit Sociology, Criminology and Gender Studies
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 15 units of Gender Studies major courses
    Incompatible GSSA 2018/EX
    Restrictions Available to students undertaking a Gender Studies Major only
    Assessment Essay (1500 word) 25%, Group presentation (3000 word) 25%, Essay (3000 word) 40%, Tutorial participation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Pam Papadelos

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    Identify major theoretical debates in Gender Studies.

    Recognise critical theories and key theorists in Feminism, Masculinity Studies, Queer Theory, and Poststructuralism.

    Understand and articulate the political and social dimensions of multiple sexual and gendered orientations.

    Apply theoretical knowledge to social problems.

    Challenge binaries that structure western thought around gender and sexuality, including sex/gender, man/woman, homosexual/heterosexual.

    Work with others in the exploration of ideas and to collectively negotiate solutions to problems

    Construct a clear well-argued paper in response to a research question

    Use technologies relevant to the University learning environment

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources
    Reading lists, web-links, library resources, essay writing guides, study guides, referencing, IT support and TURNITIN will be available.
    Online Learning
    The MyUni site will contain some additional resources and materials. Each week after the lecture, the lecture slides and lecture recording will be uploaded. Announcements and a discussion board are activated for student queries and the passing on of course information. Websites and some uploaded film/dvd material will complement the material in the reader. Articulate Storyline modules will be availabe on MyUni. The materials will be released over the semester.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


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



    1x1 hour lecture per week

    12 hours per semester

    1x2 hour tutorial per week

    24 hours per semester

    6 hours reading per week

    72 hours per semester

    2 hours research per week

    24 hours per semester

    2 hours assignment preparation per week

    24 hours per semester


    TOTAL = 156 hours per semester

    Learning Activities Summary






    Theory and Feminist Praxis: The Sexual Subject


    Continental Philosophy and Feminist Theory


    Subjectivity: Feminist Positions


    Group Activity


    Psychoanalysis: Freud and Lacan


    Foucault: Discourses of Desire


    Derrida and Irigaray


    Judith Butler’s Gender Performativity






    Intersections of Gender and Sexuality

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    SGDE in the lecture setting involving flipped on-line modules (developed in Articulate Storyline) where students will work in groups to apply theory from modules to case studies/examples presented in the lecture. Students will work in groups of 4x5 students (x4). Group presentation in the tutorial.
  • 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





    1500 essay




    3000 words Group presentation

    Formative and Summative



    3000 essay




    Tutorial Participation

    Formative and Summative



    Assessment Detail
    1500 word essay: 30%
    Answer one of the two set questions to answer in essay format using the readings from weeks 1-4.
    1.Why is generic (universal) ‘man’ as a philosophic category problematic for some men and all women?
    2.Why should feminists engage with, and want to be included in, the ‘Western Philosophical Canon’?

    3000 words Group Presentation: 20%
    In groups, students will select an issue to explore (Gay Marriage, the rise of raunch culture, sex tourism, division of labour and sexualisation of children). They will work together to develop a comprehensive profile on a chosen issue, which will include an academic bibliography and popular representations, such as media reports etc.

    3000 word essay: 40%
    Students will be required to write a research essay chosen from topics to be circulated in week 6

    Tutorial Participation: 10%
    Students engage in interaction in class activities and the cooperative sharing of materials and information

    No information currently available.

    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 ( 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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