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O-3.04 Genders and Diversities: Old Questions, Persisting Challenges, Future Opportunities

Instructor: Dr. Alice Margaria
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Online subject course, B-Track
Contact hours:
The coursework corresponds to an on-site course in term III amounting to 48 contact hours.
Course days
: Tuesday & Friday
8 am - 12:30 pm CEST
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,250
Can be combined with all A-Track online courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Gender Equality (SDG 5); Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10)

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the broad and vibrating field of gender and diversity studies, crossing disciplinary boundaries and reflecting on contemporary global issues around gender and diversity. Key questions addressed in the course are: how does gender manifest itself and determine social (in)justice? Who is responsible for doing and undoing gender? How does gender intersect with other diversity grounds and lead to structural and systemic patterns of discrimination in our societies? What’s the role of states in bringing about (gender) equality?

During the first part of the course, students will gain familiarity with key working concepts, theories and perspectives – including intersectionality, masculinities studies and LGBTQI+ approaches – which will serve as essential analytical tools to be applied in the second part of the course. In the latter, the focus will be placed on concrete global challenges pertaining to gender and diversity, including the (under)representation of women and other groups in decision-making bodies and processes, the struggles of intersex and trans people suffering stigmatisation and discrimination in various global locations, gender-based violence in its multiple manifestations, and the often-unquestioned performative powers of language in sustaining and perpetuating gender and social hierarchies.

Having acquired the necessary background knowledge and analytical tools, students will engage in topical debates by unpacking complex and intersectional questions related to each of the above themes, suggesting potential avenues for change and identifying persisting challenges in achieving (gender) equality. An important feature of this course will lie in its interactive format, facilitated by the use of original and varied digital teaching tools (e.g. surveys, multi-media materials, break-out rooms, etc.). Students are expected to actively participate in small-group exercises, in-class debates and to give a short presentation throughout the course, with the aim of making learning a collective and shared experience and responsibility. Depending on availability, virtual visits (e.g., to local art exhibitions relevant to the course subject) and/or guest talks (e.g. with LGBTQI+ social society representatives) might represent further learning opportunities for students.

In the long-run, this course will motivate and empower students to think outside the box, to become aware of their positionality and challenge their own assumptions, to develop creativity and to adopt nuanced and multi-layered perspectives when approaching social justice questions.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

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