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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Gender and Empire: Contested Meanings and Divergent Practices (PGHC11210)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course aims to provide an understanding of the historiographical debates and main themes within the history of gender and empire in Africa, Asia and elsewhere in the colonial world.
Course description Drawing on recent historical research that introduced gender as an analytical concept into the study of empire, this course seeks to explore a variety of discourses and practices that forged the notions of masculinities and femininities in imperial consciousness and redefined the roles of men and women in colonised societies. Moving between pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary times, the course examines the continuities and changes in gender relations in the context of the variety of economic, social and cultural systems which developed in the European colonial empires. Following the examination of the impact of 'empire' (in the widest use of the term) on the formation of European consciousness and political practices, the course analyses the extent to which these policies affected gender relations by examining particular cases studies in specific geographical contexts (primarily Africa and India). It chiefly looks at the main transformation of gender relations throughout the colonial and post-colonial periods, although attention will be also given to the features of the relationship between men and women in pre-colonial contexts. Topics include: the impact of imperial possessions on both literature and on masculinities and femininities, pre-colonial patterns of gender relations in Africa and India, the impact of colonial policies on the status of men and women and different forms of resistance against, collaboration with and adaptation to imperial policies and cultural models.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. enhance student understanding of important themes in gender history
  2. broaden student understanding of alternative 'world views' on gender relations
  3. enhance student knowledge of competing historiographical viewpoints on gender relations
  4. enhance student historical and transferable verbal skills in a team work situation, through the preparation and presentation of seminar papers, and collective engagement in informed discussion and debate of seminar topics
  5. enhance writing skills through the preparation and submission of essays exhibiting empirical rigour, theoretical and analytical skills and narrative and literary skills.
Reading List
Jean Allman, Susan Geiger and Nakanyike Musisi, Women in African Colonial Histories (Bloomington, 2002)

Antoinette Burton, Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women and Imperial Culture (London, 1994)

Sudhir Chandra, Enslaved Daughters; Colonialism, Law and Women's Rights (New Delhi, 1998)

Partha Chatterjee, The Nation and its Fragments: colonial and postcolonial histories (Princeton, 1993)

Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, African Women: a Modern History (Oxford, 1997)

J. Damousi, Depraved and Disorderly: Female Convicts, sexuality and gender in Colonial Australia, (Cambridge 1997)

Dorothy Hodgson and Sheryl McCurdy, "Wicked" Women and the Reconfiguration of Gender in Africa (Oxford, 2001)

Lata Mani, Contentious Traditions: The Debate on Sati in Colonial India (Berkeley and Los Angeles,1998)

Mrinalini Sinha, Mother India: Selections from the Controversial 1927 Text (University of Michigan 2000)

Elisabeth Schmidt, Mobilising the Masses: Gender, Ethnicity and Class in the Nationalist Movement in Guinea, 1939-58 (Portsmouth, 2004)

Luise White, The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi (Chicago, 1990
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsgender empire contested divergent
Course organiserDr Kate Boehme
Tel: (0131 6)50 4620
Course secretaryMs Cristina Roman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4777
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