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How have gendered ideas shaped key events in world history? And how have gendered subjects of history experienced these events? This subject will focus on how gender has shaped world history alongside considering the gendered impact of cataclysmic events on everyday people and their communities.
Through a transnational study of major events in the world this subject will explore how gender has been vital in shaping geopolitics, economics, culture and society. Together with this broad view, personal and individual and everyday perspectives will also be considered. By focusing on the everyday life of men and women who experienced these major world events, students will enhance their understanding of how gender is also vital to questions of identity, emotions and the self – both in the past and in contemporary times.
The subject will cover key events with global impacts in a chronological order from 1800 beginning with Empire and imperialism. Following this, World War I, diplomacy and international peace activities in the interwar period, World War II, movements of decolonisation as well as social movements that came to the fore after World War II will be examined as will the ongoing legacies of all of these events in the world today. Each of these world events and structures will be examined for the ways in which gender was constructed and operated thought them. In addition to this the gendered impacts of these events and structures on people will be a point of focus – this will include public figures alongside people without high profiles but whose lives we can learn about from the archival traces that remain.
Classes will be in a 2-hour seminar format and will have an interactive focus but will include some short lectures and presentations. Seminar sessions involve an examination of primary sources each week such as letters and correspondence, photographs and images as well as official documents and media reports. These primary sources will be read and discussed alongside the work of historians so that students will also have a good understanding of historiographical traditions of gender and feminist history.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Analyse the significance of gender in shaping major world events
- Develop and demonstrate research skills through use of primary materials which are textual and visual alongside scholarly literature and other sources of information
- Describe the impact of gender on people's everyday experiences of major world events
- Demonstrate an ability to construct an intellectual argument and be able to communicate this effectively through written work and class discussions
- Identify the range of ways gender is culturally and socially constructed in both the past and the present
- Analyse the intersection of gender, class, race and ethnicity in power structures, and recognise how these are shaped over time
- Reflect critically on various scholarly approaches to understanding gender in different times and places.
Student who successfully complete this subject should be able to:
- apply knowledge gained alongside critical thinking skills to solve problems in contexts such as workplaces and communities;
- be open to new ideas and perspectives;
- take challenges in their thinking, considering multiple possibilities and viewpoints, while always responding in an ethical and responsible manner, and
- develop time management and planning skills.
Last updated: 20 February 2024