ENG31990 Reading Gender and Sexuality

Academic Year 2022/2023

In this module, we will explore some key LGBTQ works of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. As well as considering these works within the political and cultural moments and movements that they have been part of, we will explore the ways in which gender and sexuality, the body and desire, are constructed in literary and cultural representation in the later 20th and 21st centuries. We will read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts in their political, social and cultural contexts using critical and theoretical frameworks that will enrich and deepen our understandings and analyses of literary texts. We will pay close attention to the way in which gender and sexuality are shaped by race, class, migration and other structures of power, paying attention to key concepts in feminist, gender, queer, race critical, and trans theory. We will explore the ways in which these texts engage, challenge and experiment with genre, form and the aesthetic in ways that express multiple queer, trans, feminist, and other minoritized ways of being. We will think about the relation between literary and cultural representation, social change, and identity.

Primary texts will include (further texts tbc)
Imogen Binnie, Nevada (2013)
Kai Cheng Thom, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir (2016)
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater (2018)
Bernadine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (2019)
Ocean Vuong, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (2019)

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should have:
- Familiarity with a variety of queer and trans literary and aesthetic modes and uses of genre and form;
- Awareness of major currents in queer, feminist and trans theories and methods of analysis and the ability to apply these in their analysis of literary texts;
- Awareness of how class, race, migration, place, and historical location inflect and shape understandings, regulations, and narratives of gender and sexuality;
- Awareness of how queer, trans and feminist literary narratives have contributed to queer, trans and feminist social movements;
- Awareness of how historical and cultural contexts shape the expression & regulation of gender and sexuality;
- Ability to discuss complex ideas in class and in written assignments;
- Ability to analyse texts with attention to contexts and conceptual frames;
- Ability to write an extended essay on a topic related to the module.

Indicative Module Content:

Indicative primary reading:

Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (1982)
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985)
Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues: A Novel (1993)
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy (1994)
Shani Mootoo, Cereus Blooms At Night (1996)
Imogen Binnie, Nevada (2013)
Kai Cheng Thom, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir (2016)
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater (2018)
Bernadine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (2019)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module uses a variety of teaching and learning strategies, including class discussion, group work, short lectures, critical writing and reflection. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: FInal essay and essay proposal Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Assignment: Mid-term close reading exercise Unspecified n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Three posted discussion questions
classroom discussion
Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback in class on discussion posts; individual feedback on mid-semester assignment, building to final essay proposal with individual consultation and feedback prior to completing the final essay