Semester Offering: January
This course aims to examine how understandings of gender, and sexuality are culturally constructed through social structures and global ideological systems, and how economic, political, and cultural structures enforce gender distinctions and its implications for development. The course draws from the interdisciplinary fields of feminist/gender studies, development studies and cultural studies. It has three main objectives, the first to review fundamental approaches on gender, culture and development and the related role of culture in understanding gender and development. The second to examine how understanding of gender and sexuality are reproduced, negotiated and deployed in the context of contemporary development, globalization and transnational issues.


The student on completion of this course would be able to:
  • Compare and contrast approaches on gender, culture and development and thus critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches
  • Identify how power dynamics related to gender and sexuality are either maintained (reproduced), changed (negotiated), or challenged (subverted) through development interventions.
  • Outline basic policy and advocacy responses to issues in development (and their theoretical and ideological roots) using a gender and culture lens.




I.         Context and debates
1.       Defining Culture
2.       Gender as a Construction and Process
3.       Culture/Power/Knowledge
4.       Culture and Development

II.        Identities and Social Difference
1.       Ideology, Discourse and Representation
2.       Gender & Sexuality
3.       Intersectionality and Gender
4.       Post-colonial Approaches & Third World Feminists
5.       Gender, Development & Social Justice




1.    Hodgson, D. L. (2015). The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press


1.        Cornwall, A. (2007). Revisiting the 'gender agenda'. IDS Bulletin 3(2): 69-78.
2.        Everett J. & Charlton, S. M. (2014). Women navigating globalization: Feminist approaches to development. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield
3.        Hall, S. (1997). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London, UK: Sage and Open University Press
4.        Mohanty, C.T. (2003). Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. [Mohanty, C. (2003) Under Western Eyes Revisited. Signs 28 (2) 499-535.]
5.        AWID. Intersectionality: a tool for gender and economic justice. Women’s Rights and Economic Change No. 9, August 2004
6.        Gammage, S. Kabeer, N., and Rodgers, Y. (2016) Voice and Agency: Where are we now? Feminist Economics 22(1): 1-29.


  • Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press.
  • IDS Bulletin, Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, University of Chicago Press.
  • Theory and Society: Renewal and Critique in Social Theory, Springer


Total of 25 hours of lecture over the semester plus combined 10 hours of student-led discussions and individual presentations over the course of the semester (equal to 5 hours of lecture). Students are expected to spend at least 6 hours of self-study per week, including required readings.


Lectures combined with student led discussions and presentations.


      Weekly Reading Post & Response 30%
Graded on understanding, critical insight, coherence 

      Paper Mid Sem  Draft: 20%
Graded on Strength of the argument, critical content, coherence, references used & citations & APA formatting, writing skills

      Final Revised Paper and Presentation 35%
Graded on 1. Paper: Strength of the argument, critical content, coherence, References used & Citations & Formatting (APA), Writing skills 2. Presentation of Paper: strength of the argument, critical content, coherence, verbal & presentation skills.

      Class Participation: 15%
Graded on quality of participation throughout the semester – coming to class prepared, keeping up with the class reading & timelines, being involved in all class activities and assigned tasks – in other words contributing in a consistent, well-informed and thoughtful manner to class discussion and activities which shows engagement with the class materials and peers and enhances the quality of the class for everyone)

In the assignments, an “A” would be awarded if a student fulfills all the requirements and can contextualize the knowledge learned in class by presenting strong analyses incorporating class reading materials and outside research. A “B” would be awarded if a student fulfills all the requirements and shows an overall understanding of all topics, a “C” would be awarded if a student does not fulfill the requirements and meets below average expectation in terms of analysis, and a “D” would be awarded if a student does not fulfill the requirements and does not meet basic expectations in analyzing or understanding the issues presented in the course.