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 on/by women and critiquing masculinist tendencies within the field. We will examine topics such as the relationship between queer studies and lesbian studies, theories of male and female homosociality, tensions between female homosociality and homoeroticism, and representations of romantic and/or sexual desire between women. Significantly, the nature of “women’s” perspectives will be interrogated from an intersectional perspective through queer work dealing with experiences of Asian, Black, and other non-white and/or non-Western women, as well as discussions of problems of transphobia. Through this course, students will develop a foundation for queer methodologies and engage closely with questions of tensions, 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.

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).

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

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)

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)

ARTH2079. History and theory of fashion (6 credits)

ARTH2089. Gender and sexuality in architecture (6 credits)

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

ARTH3020. Women making art after 1960 (6 credits)

HIST2048. The history of childhood and youth (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)

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)

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 creativeiIndustries: An introduction (6 credits)

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

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

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

JAPN2059. Family and social institutions in Japan and Greater China (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)

(*NOTE: Please refer to the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Education, Faculty 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.)