Short course for alumni

UNU-GEST offers the course ‘This girl is on fire!’: Understanding Gender Through Literature and Other Cultural Texts in spring semester 2018. The course is taught remotely, starts on 15 January and is taught by Dr. Giti Chandra (, an associated scholar at UNU-GEST.


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

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, with two lecturers each week: these are 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 are required to take part in online discussions, and those who complete the short course will receive a certificate of participation by UNU-GEST.

All UNU-GEST alumni members are encouraged to sign up for the course and fill in this registration form no later than 10 January 2018. At the beginning of January, participants will be invited to an online discussion forum where all documents, lectures and discussions will be made available.


This girl is on fire course