Gender Studies Offered Courses

Introductory Course

This course introduces students to the discipline of Gender Studies. Students will develop an understanding of gender both as a subject and as a category of analysis. Students explore gender-related topics, including gender relations and identities, women, and sexualities. As a category of analysis, students will use gender to interrogate cultural production and social systems, paying close attention to how gender intersects with other categories of social difference, such as sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and ability. Students will connect the assigned academic readings to “real-life” examples in the news, media or their everyday lives thereby producing new theoretical understandings of gender and sexuality within the contexts of Hong Kong, Asia and the world.

Assessment: 100% coursework.

Advanced Course

This course aims to decenter European and North American knowledge about gender and introduce a new Asia-centered approach to studying gender, sex, and sexuality. The course will introduce students to theoretical models that challenge the historical privilege of Whiteness and the West in Gender Studies, including Orientalism, the Subaltern School, and Intersectionality. Students will also look at gender theories from colonized/post-colonial or non-Western places, such as China, Japan, South Korea and India. Drawing transnationally from gender theory, the course will propose new models for talking about gender, sex, and sexuality in Hong Kong, China, and Asia.

Assessment: 100% coursework.

Prerequisite: GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before)

This course examines beauty, skin, and cosmetics from the nineteenth century to today. Students will consider the similarities, differences, and interconnectedness of beauty practices across time and place, examining how they reveal global and local structures of gender, race, and class. The course will consider how entrepreneurs shaped beauty markets, how advertisements visually represent ideals of feminine and racialized beauty, and how people have felt about their physical beauty.

Assessment: 100% coursework.

Prerequisite: GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before)

This course considers the intersection of gender, generation, and leadership in theory and practice. It also cultivates research, writing, and critical thinking skills building on the key objectives of the Gender Studies Program. We begin with student reflections on their own “leadership stories,” then expand class discussions to think about community and global leaders in light of key insights from gender and leadership studies scholarship. In addition to considering how identity and institutional formations shape each other we will draw on gender studies perspectives to historicize and interrogate workplace buzzwords and legal terms including “glass” and “bamboo ceilings,” “leaky pipelines,” “diversity and inclusion,” “affirmative action/positive discrimination,” and “unconscious/implicit bias.” Intersectional analysis of leadership will illuminate the barriers to power and position that exist when gender intersects with racial, ethnic, gender, economic, sexual, geographic, or religious discrimination (or any combination of the aforementioned) We will discuss case studies of transformative leaders who have shaped policies, institutions, and localities in gendered and gender-conscious ways. Throughout the term we will pay special attention to leadership and change in Hong Kong, China, and Asia today, drawing on the expertise of selected guest lecturers who are leaders in various settings and workplaces here in the region. Learners will combine reading and reflection with active participation in class discussions, small-group projects, and leadership training seminars.

Prerequisite: GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment: 100% coursework.

The practice of Gender Studies, and indeed the experience of gender, frequently crosses disciplinary boundaries. This course will give students access to approaches derived from a number of disciplines, including art history, cultural studies, and material culture, which will enable them to develop and extend their understanding of how objects, images and other kinds of representations are implicated in and predicated on discourses of gender. The course will explore topics including fashion, architecture, design, fine art and photography, and print and new media, covering a broad territory of times and places. Students will develop a critical understanding of some of the key debates that have structured feminist theories of representation, and their relationship to the general field of visual culture. Emphasis will be placed on engagement with resources and research methods specific to visual topics, including object sessions and museum visits where appropriate, with the aim of providing students with tools and skills that they can utilize throughout their undergraduate careers.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

This course examines religion, gender and sexuality as crucial systems of power that shape our world. Rather than introducing gender and religion according to the categorization of “world religions,” this course applies a thematic approach. It aims to show how gender is understood differently across culture and society as variations of a theme, while reflecting on the religious practices and gender norms of their own social and cultural backgrounds and the cross-cultural issues.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

This course serves as the first transgender focused gender studies course in the Gender Studies Programme. The course will introduce and discuss the concepts and theories of transness, transgender and otherness using some of the Western literature while incorporating and focusing on the Asian perspectives with Thailand, Hong Kong and the Philippines as focus.
This course will also focus on narratives and history of transness and otherness in 3 Asian contexts: Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines. The course will look into the evolution of gender identities, roles and expressions and sexualities in these societies and weave the intersections in these narratives. We will study the current situations of trans, non-binary and “other” people in these societies and how their transness and otherness impede them from being fully integrated in their societies. We look into ways colonisation (Hong Kong, Philippines) and non-colonisation (Thailand) affect their transness and collectiveness. Finally, we hope to invite social justice allies through this course to help us map action plans to share with them so they can be helped in improving their states in their respective societies.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment: 100% coursework.

The study of sexuality obliges a reading of the theories of both Sigmund Freud and Michel Foucault.  While Freud argues that the sexual instinct and civilization are irreconcilable and society must repress the sexual, even at the cost of producing neurotics, Foucault thinks that societies and discourses produce sexuality, sexual types, and sexual behaviour as a form of control.  Textual discussions to examine the application of psychoanalytic theory in the representation of sexuality in culture will include internationally acclaimed classics of both film and literary texts.  Intensive reading is mandatory and expected of students who will be guided through the examination of the writings of Sigmund Freud, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, and other theorists who have contributed to the legacy of psychoanalysis as a tool for the reading of culture.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

This course introduces queer theory across a range of disciplinary and historical contexts, with an emphasis on approaches and issues centering women’s perspectives. While outlining basic concepts and debates within queer studies, the course focuses on highlighting work  by/on women and reflecting upon intersections between queer theory and feminisms. The nature of “women” will necessarily be interrogated from intersectional perspectives dealing with issues of ethnicity/race, class, and transgender identities.

We will begin by examining poststructuralist concepts of power and resistance alongside the context of 1990’s queer activism in the United States. Readings include classic texts on topics such as sexual hierarchies, the lesbian continuum, and problems of intersectionality within queer movements. Significantly, the emphasis will be on “translating” such texts and theories to everyday experiences in Hong Kong. In addition to writing assignments designed for this purpose, readings will cover topics including the introduction of queer theory in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and mainland China; queer Sinophone studies; and queer diasporas. Through this course, students will develop a foundation for queer approaches and engage closely with questions of solidarity and coalition-building within and beyond queer studies.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

This course provides a survey of feminist and queer/LGBTQ literature with a focus on texts from regions of Asia and the Asian diaspora. While centering narratives by women or queer-identifying authors, we will address basic issues surrounding the representation of gender and sexuality and interrogate broader discourses of “feminist” and “queer” within Asian cultural contexts. What role do literary (and popular) narratives have in feminist and queer movements within Asia or centering Asian identities? What forms of solidarity are made possible through stories, across lines of gender, sexuality, nationality, race, and other difference? Through its exploration of Asian contexts, the course works against a historical lack of visibility for non-white, non-Western literary voices. The course emphasizes literary fiction and relevant theory/criticism but will also incorporate other forms such as poetry, memoir, comics, zines, and games.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

As an interdisciplinary field that spans history, anthropology, cultural studies, geography, and sociology, science and technology studies asks fundamental questions of how our world—driven by the ever-emerging advances in science and technology—is also culturally shaped by our understandings of “science” and “technology.” This course takes a feminist perspective to science and technology studies, meaning that the central analytic in our quest is power: how do “science” and “technology” also manifest and manage difference? How is that difference unequally distributed, treated, institutionalized, and experience? And how is that difference part and parcel of “science” and “technology”? A feminist perspective, focused on difference, thus draws attention to the myriad of difference produced, unevenly so: gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, health, nationality, and class.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

This course explores how feminist thought and theory has been manifested in popular culture texts and impacted understandings of gender, sexuality and diversity. Students will become familiar with a range of theories and methods used in contemporary feminist theory and cultural studies to study representations in popular culture and to ascertain how constructions of gender and power are integrated. Examples to be examined include popular texts in film, television, music and digital media. Students will also critically appraise how developments in the feminist movementhave influenced depictions of gender and sexuality in these various facets of popular culture.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

How do we “read” Japanese culture through queer and feminist perspectives? We commonly find depoliticized views of Japanese culture centering on escapism and the exotic—in “Western” countries but also in places such as Hong Kong. In contrast, this class emphasizes analysis of gender and sexuality grounded within cultural and historical context, tracing the politics of imagination and desire surrounding Japanese literature, manga, television, and film. It touches upon popular male authors to suggest how critique of sexism can exist side by side with pleasure found in problematic texts. Namely, however, students will be exposed to a broader range of Japanese cultural texts alongside relevant scholarship, and learn to analyze how texts intersect with gender and sexual politics, ethnicity/race, class, colonialism, and imperialism. Topics include those such as queer and feminist literature; BL, yuri, and otaku cultures; the impact of transnational queer/LGBTQ politics and feminisms; the circulation of Japanese texts within Hong Kong, mainland China, and Taiwan; and the broader context of girls’ culture in East Asia.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

What does it mean to practice border-crossing solidarity built on our understandings of political, cultural, and historical realities of the places in which we live? This course outlines problems and theoretical questions that arise when we study gender and sexuality in Hong Kong, connecting gaps in theory with our lived everyday realities. It calls for the study of queer and feminist issues in Hong Kong to engage with colonial histories and layered imperialisms; dynamics between “local” identities, ethnic minorities, mainland Chinese, and expats; and tensions between Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Namely, feminist and queer ethical practices require an ongoing self-reflexive investigation of the positionalities and places from which we think, feel, and seek to connect with others.

With this starting point, we can begin to theorize solidarity and hope found by engaging with experiences of feminists, queers, racial/ethnic minorities, and those otherwise marginalized in places outside of Hong Kong. How do we enter into fraught conversations across geographical space and time as well as linguistic and political boundaries, often through “bad feelings” and collective trauma? While drawing from Hong Kong studies, the course includes topics such as women of color, Black, Asian American, postcolonial, and transnational feminisms and queer of color critique; transnational flows of queer politics and feminisms through translation and multilingualism in Chinese-speaking contexts; diasporic queer feminist activisms alongside Sinophone studies; recent Japanese and Korean feminisms; racial hierarchies and Orientalisms; femininities and masculinities in East Asia; and creative expression of racially marginalized feminists and queers.

Prerequisite:     GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before).

Assessment:     100% coursework.

The Gender Studies internship offers students an opportunity to take their classroom knowledge into the community. Drawing on previous coursework in Gender Studies, students will apply a critical and intersectional knowledge of gender and sexuality to an experiential learning endeavor that demonstrates a real impact on society. An internship proposal must be submitted to the course supervisor the semester before the proposed start of internship. The student must pass an interview with the organization before being allowed to register for this course. The duration of the internship will depend on the arrangement between the student and the organization, but should involve at least 40 contact hours of service for the organization. Students will check-in with the supervisor at least twice to discuss internship progress. Students will complete a written report and critical reflection on the internship experience, signed by the organization.

Prerequisites: GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before), and at least one 2000-level Gender Studies course.

Assessment: 100% coursework (graded on a pass/fail basis).

What will the future of work look like, and how do we prepare for our future careers? If in the future every industry will be touched by automation, what transferrable skills does Gender Studies and the Humanities offer that robots and AI cannot replicate? How do we translate the unique knowledge and experiences of a Gender Studies major into a career? Students will explore how Gender Studies scholars examine such workplace problems as the gender pay gap and unconscious bias and will develop skills for navigating their own career journey, from building a professional network to negotiating a first job. Final year Gender Studies majors are strongly encouraged to take this course.

Prerequisites:   GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before), and at least one 2000-level Gender Studies course.

Assessment:     100% coursework.

Capstone Course

This capstone experience aims at providing Gender Studies majors in their penultimate or final year an opportunity to produce a final project. The course introduces students to doing research on Gender Studies in original and secondary sources. The course will introduce students to the methods of gender studies. Through a rigorous series of guided steps, students will work both collaboratively and independently to produce a research paper or equivalent project.

Prerequisites: GEND1001 or CLIT1002 (for students admitted in 2017-18 or before), and at least one 2000-level Gender Studies course.

Assessment: 100% coursework.

Approved Elective Courses

School of Chinese

CHIN2146  The “sickly beauties”: gender and illness in late imperial China (6 credits)

CHIN2151  Gender and sexuality in Ming and Qing fiction (6 credits)

CHIN2171  Women’s autobiographical writing in late Imperial China (6 credits)

CHIN2264  Chinese eroticism (6 credits)

HKGS2006  Engendering Hong Kong: sociological and demographic perspectives (6 credits)

School of English

ENGL2039  Gender, sexuality and discourse (6 credits)

ENGL2080  Women, feminism and writing (6 credits)

ENGL2177  Reading and rereading Jane Austen (6 credits)

School of Humanities

ARTH2032  Art and the portrayal of women (6 credits)

ARTH2049  Art and gender in China (6 credits)

ARTH2053  Beauties and the beasts: Song and Yuan painting (6 credits)

ARTH2100  Body, Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary art (6 credits)

ARTH3020  Women making art after 1960 (6 credits)

ARTH3033  Sex, Gender, and the Body in Early Modern Art (6 credits)

CLIT2014  Feminist cultural studies (6 credits)

CLIT2016  The body in culture (6 credits)

CLIT2037  Gender and sexuality in Chinese literature and film (6 credits)

CLIT2058  Histories of sexuality (6 credits)

CLIT2069  The making of modern masculinities (6 credits)

CLIT2076  Fashioning femininities (6 credits)

CLIT2089  Culture and ‘queer’ theory (6 credits)

CLIT2091  Gender, feminism and modern China (6 credits)

CLIT2093  20th Century fashion and the making of the modern women (6 credits)

CLIT2101  Imagining Africa otherwise (6 credits)

HIST2048  The history of childhood and youth (6 credits)

HIST2070  Stories of self: History through autobiography (6 credits)

HIST2081  Gender and history: Beauty, fashion and sex (6 credits)

HIST2083  Gender, sexuality and empire (6 credits)

HIST2085  The history of modern sexual identity and discourse (6 credits)

HIST2089  History’s closet: Clothing in context (6 credits)

HIST2119  Changing lives: Women’s history from Fin-de-Siècle to the interwar years (6 credits)

HIST2126  The American family: Histories, myths, and realities (6 credits)

HIST2131  Growing up ‘girl’: Histories, novels, and American culture (6 credits)

HIST2143  Love and loyalty: Women and gender in Chinese History (6 credits)

HIST2151  God, guns, sex: Religion, revolution, and gender in late imperial and modern China (6 credits)

HIST2158  Women in Hong Kong history: Private lives and public voices (6 credits)

HIST2160  Visualizing history (6 credits)

HIST2161  Making race (6 credits)

HIST2165  Protest and politics in modern US history (6 credits)

HIST2166  Gender and sexuality on trial: a global history of sex and scandals 1690-1990 (6 credits)

HIST2169  History of love in modern China (6 credits)

HIST2196  Race, gender, and sexuality in American Empire since 1898 (6 credits)

HIST3082 Birth counts: The politics of reproduction in the modern world (6 credits) *NEW*

PHIL2422  Philosophy of gender and race (6 credits)

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

AMER2055  African American History and Culture (6 credits)

EUST2011  Modern European lifestyle: Fashion, food, music and sex in Europe (6 credits)

GCIN2033  Gender and creative industries: An introduction (6 credits)

GRMN3033  Gender equality in German-speaking countries and the European Union (6 credits)

JAPN2045  Sex, gender, and technology in Japan (6 credits)

JAPN2090  Growing Up in Japan: Youth, Culture and Society (6 credits)

JAPN2095  Gender and sexuality in modern Japanese literature (6 credits)

JAPN3064  The Tale of Genji (6 credits)

KORE2034  Gender, sexuality, and family in Korea (6 credits)

SINO2013  Women and gender in Chinese history (6 credits)

MEDD8869  Gender and Education: International and Comparative Perspectives (6 credits)

LLAW3071  Equality and non-discrimination (6 credits)

LLAW3220  Gender, sexuality and the law (6 credits)

LLAW3239  Law and social justice at the intersections: gender, race, religion and sexuality (6 credits)

Department of Sociology

SOCI2011  Gender and crime (6 credits)

SOCI2012  Gender and society (6 credits)

SOCI2013  Gender in Chinese societies (6 credits)

SOCI2021  Marriage and the family (6 credits)

SOCI2081  Sexuality, culture and identity (6 credits)

Department of Social Work and Social Administration

SOWK2037  Human sexuality (6 credits)

Please refer to the Faculty of EducationFaculty of LawFaculty of Social Science, School of Chinese, School of English, School of Humanities and School of Modern Languages and Cultures for the details of syllabi. More relevant courses will be added in the future.