‘This girl is on fire!’: Understanding Gender Through Literature and Other Cultural Texts

The course ‘This girl is on fire!’: Understanding Gender Through Literature and Other Cultural Texts is open for registration through Ugla. The course is taught on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11.40 AM to 1.10 PM starting from next week in classroom A051, and it is taught by Dr. Giti Chandra (gc@hi.is), an associated scholar at UNU-GEST.


Course description for GET101M
This course will offer a range of readings and texts, from literature, audio and visual texts, and theories, around issues of gender in all its ramifications. Through examples of ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture from around the world, the course will offer an intersectional approach to these issues from the point of view of race, nationhood, class, caste, masculinities, feminism, and sexuality.

The Course will be divided into approximately 6 segments of roughly 2 weeks each, each one focusing on one particular intersectionality. A provisional course structure, with potential material, is as follows:

  • Gender and Religion: (readings from religious texts – The Bible, The Koran, The Ramayan, historical and current issues and conjunction – debates surrounding the burqa, abortion)
  • Gender and Class: (readings from familiar ‘classics’ – Pride and Prejudice, readings from popular fiction, films – The Help, advertisements and consumerism)
  • Gender and Race: (readings – Beloved, music videos, advertisements, slam poetry)
  • Gender and Sexualities: (poetry, ads, readings in Queer Theory, movies – depictions of traditional and non-traditional sexualities in older and current cinema)
  • Gender and Nationalism: (current debates, nationalist propaganda from the Soviet, Nazi, and RSS (Hindu fundamentalist) regimes – movies, documentaries, posters, etc)
  • Gender and the Idea of Equality: (readings in feminism, movts across the world, the figure of the wife/sister of famous men)

Structure and Requirements:
Each segment will take two weeks, or four classes: these will be a mix of lectures/presentations from the course instructor, presentations by the students, and guided discussions. The idea is to elicit maximum participation and engagement from students.
Students can be required to guide discussions, make presentation, read papers, write short assignments as midterm requirement, and do a final project or paper. Requirements and readings, etc can be graded for BA and MA students.

Students from multiple disciplines are welcome.