SSJ30070 Gender War and Violence

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module examines the gendered dimensions of war and violence. War and Violence trauma experienced by women and marginalised communities such as LGBT+ is often made invisible in national, historic and post conflict narratives. We will explore and critique some basisc gendered assumptions of war and violence. We will look at how wars, genocides and other forms of political/gendered violence have been narrated and represented? We will also consider different categorisations of gendered experience (home front/battle front, male/female, soldier/civilian); we will look at case studies from such diverse sites of war/violence as the Irish revolutionary struggle 1910-1922, the violence of institutionalisation ( Magdalen Laundries, Morther and Baby Homes etc) in 20th century Ireland, rape as a weapon of war, the 1990’s Balkans wars, the post 2011 War on Terror, post-troubles Northern Ireland and the Peace Process, and the gendered nature of war and violence, especially sexual violence, in sites of on-going conflicts around the world. This module will be taught online taught by Dr Mary McAuliffe.

Graduates who have completed at least 15 credits of undergraduate electives offered by the School of Social Justice will have this noted on their UCD transcripts as the completion of Structured Electives in Social Justice.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students should be able to:
Understand the ongoing debates concerning gender, femininity and masculinity in relation to war and violence and be able engage in discussion of these
Critically review the gendered nature of war and the relationships between masculinity / femininity, violence and war
Present scholarly ideas and engage in discussion.
Write a scholarly essay to a standard appropriate to level 3 students.

Indicative Module Content:

This module will provide participants with opportunities to study

Gender and feminist theories of war and violence, Systemic and institutional violence against women, rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, and help you

* understand and theorise the gendered nature of war and violence
* understand both the historic and contemporary contexts of war and violence
* consider the continuing use of sexual violence, especially rape, as a strategic, systemic weapon of war
* understand the gendered nature of power, violence and systems of institutionalisation – using Ireland as a case study
* develop critical and reflective thinking, effective use of a variety of source materials, ability to produce coherent, clear and rigorous oral and written argument, and, also, the ability to work with and learn from others

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
this module is delivered over 10 weeks, it will be online, with recorded and real time talks, readings, videos and other modes of delivery. All material will remain online to download when participents can. Each weeks 2 hour session is a combination of an online lecture and workshop/seminar. The seminar component will involve student groups working on gendered case studies of particular themes relevant to Gender, War and Violence.

critical readings
group discussions
written reflections
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
Assignment: mid term assignment - 800 words, critical reflection on self chosen reading from reading list Week 6 n/a Graded No


Essay: end of semester essay 2500-3000 words Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer 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

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

feedback on assignment given by week 8 feedback on essay post assessment

Gender War and Violence Select Reading list
All of these readings (plus talks and videos etc) will be available to students on Brighspace.

Joy Damousi and Marilyn Lake ‘Warfare, history and gender’ in Gender and War: Australians at war in the Twentieth century (Cambridge, 1995)
Valorie K Vojdik 'The Invisibility of Gender in War' Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy Volume 9:261 2002
Inger Skjelsbaek 'Sexual Violence and War: Mapping Out Complex Relationships' European Journal of International Relations, Sage Publications and ECPR, Vol. 7(2): 211–237
Elizabeth Jane Wood 'Variation in Sexual Violence during War' POLITICS & SOCIETY, Vol. 34 No. 3, September 2006 307-341
Robin L. Ripey, Chandra Talpade Mohany, and Minnie Brue Pratt ‘Introduction; feminism and US wars –mapping the ground’ in Feminism and War (London 2008)
Louise Ryan 'Drunken Tans': Representations of Sex and Violence in the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) Feminist Review, No. 66, Political Currents (Autumn, 2000), pp. 73-94
Justin Dolan Stover Families, Vulnerability and Sexual Violence During the Irish Revolution in J. Evans, C. Meehan (eds.), Perceptions of Pregnancy from the Seventeenth to the Twentieth Century, Genders and Sexualities in History, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-44168-9_4
Lindsay Earner-Byrne The Rape of Mary M.: A Microhistory of Sexual Violence and Moral Redemption in 1920s Ireland Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2015
(Manchester 2009)
James M Smith ‘The Magdalen Asylum and the State in 20th century Ireland’ in Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (Manchester, 2007)
Clara Fischer 'Gender, Nation, and the Politics of Shame: Magdalen Laundries and the Institutionalization of Feminine Transgression in Modern Ireland' in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2016, vol. 41, no. 4
Begona Aretxaga' The Sexual Games of the Body Political Fantasy and the State Violence in Northern Ireland Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry 25: 1–27, 2001.
Mary McAuliffe and Laura Hale ‘Blood on the Walls’; Gender, History and Writing the Armagh Women in Gillian McIntosh and Diane Urquhart Irish Women at war; the 20th century (Dublin, 2010)
Theresa O’Keefe, . ‘menstrual blood as a weapon of resistance’. International Feminist Journal of Politics, ( 2006).
Laura Sjoberg ‘Gender, Just War, and Non-state Actors’ Chapter 7 in E. Heinze and B. Steele Ethics, Authority, and War (London 2009)
Inger Skjelsbaek Victim and Survivor: Narrated Social Identities of Women Who Experienced Rape During the War in Bosnia-Herzegovina Feminism & Psychology 2006 16: 373
Laura Sjoberg and Caron E Gentry ‘Triple Transgressions at Abu Ghraib’ in Mothers, Monsters, Whores; Women’s Violence in Global Politics (London 2007)
Zillah Eisenstein. “Resexing the Wars of/on Terror.” Sexual Decoys: Gender, Race and War in Imperial Democracy. London and New York: Zed Books, 2007
Nicole Hogg 'Women’s participation in the Rwandan genocide: mothers or monsters? International Red Cross Review, Volume 92 Number 877 March 2010
Laura Sjoberg and Caron E Gentry ‘Gendered perpetrators of genocide’ in Mothers, Monsters, Whores; Women’s Violence in Global Politics (London 2007)
Claudia Card ‘Rape as a Weapon of War’ Hypatia Special Issue, Women and Violence, Vo. 1996
Milillo, D., 2006. Rape as a tactic of war. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 21, 196 Á 205.
Cindy S. Snyder, Wesley J. Gabbard, J. Dean May and Nihada Zulcic ‘On the Battleground of Women's Bodies: Mass Rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina’. Affilia ; Journal of Women and Social Work 2006; 21; 184
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 16:00 - 17:50