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EN270 - Transnational Feminisms: Literature, Theory & Practice

  • Module code: EN270
  • Module name: Transnational Feminisms: Literature, Theory & Practice
  • Department: English and Comparative Literary Studies
  • Credit: 30

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module will explore the relationship between Anglo-American and European feminist literary theory and Third World feminisms. As such, it will examine the tensions, negotiations and new articulations (specifically as transnational feminism) that can be read through the lens of historical developments from the nineteenth century to the present. In particular, the history of Euro-American colonialism, anti-colonial movements, nationalism, decolonization, development and modernization projects post-World War II, crises of global capitalism, new social movements, and neo-liberalism will provide broad frameworks for understanding transnational feminism. The syllabus will consist roughly of 4 units. The first Gender and Empire will consider the 19th century context of the “woman question” as integral to the colonial project. We will examine writings by Western women travellers, missionaries, and social reformers and by anti-colonialist women writers and activists, as they developed and articulated ideologies of women’s emancipation. In the second unit, Gender, State and Nation, we will examine anti-colonialist and nationalist writings by women (typically invisible in dominant accounts of nationalism) and consider the relationship between gender, state and nation. The third unit, Gender and Globalization, will explore how gendered identities are constituted in the context of a rapid globalization of capital and culture, with special emphasis on late capitalist commodity culture, development discourse and transformations in labour and migration processes. We will also consider new theorisations of trans-national feminisms. The last unit, Gender and the New Empire, will consider the relationship between new forms of global imperialism (the “war

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will have a good grasp of feminist literary theory and criticism in a transnational and comparative perspective. They will have the ability to read a variety of texts and genres, from diaries, journals, novels and non-fiction to film and visual art

Timetabled teaching activities

Weekly seminar

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
30 CATS (Module code: EN270-30)
C (Assessed/examined work) 1st 2500 word essay 25%
  2nd 2500 word essay 25%
  2 hour examination (Summer) 50%
C3 (Assessed/examined work) 2 hour examination (Non-Finalists) STAFF USE 100%
C4 (Assessed/examined work) 2 hour examination (Finalists) STAFF USE 100%
V1 (Visiting students only) Assessed/visiting students attending single term only 100%
V2 (Visiting students only) Assessed/visiting students attending two terms (Terms 1 & 2) 50%
  Assessed/visiting students attending two terms (Terms 2 & 3) 50%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature with Intercalated Year (VQ73) - Year 2