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WMN3240 - Contemporary Feminist Theory

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Maryanne Dever


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit introduces a range of exciting contemporary feminist theories. Broadly interdisciplinary in its concerns, the unit examines how feminist thinkers theorise around complex and challenging issues such as sex equality and sex difference; pleasure and danger in the realm of sexualities; bodies and body modification; fluidity in gender identity; shifting forms of femininity and masculinity; gender and citizenship; bodies, boundaries and nationhood; gender, race and cultural difference. Theorists examined include: Elizabeth Grosz, Luce Irigaray, Helene Cixous, Andrea Dworkin, Iris Marion Young, Richard Dyer, Ann Oakley, Joanna Frueh and others.


Students successfully completing this unit at level 3 will have gained

  1. a sound knowledge of a range of contemporary feminist theories;
  2. developed skills in reading and analysing theoretical texts;
  3. enhanced ability to develop and sustain theoretical arguments;
  4. enhanced skills in verbal and written communication;
  5. enhanced skills in the developing and presenting of individual research assignments.


Research Essay (2700wds)60%;
Class test (1.5 hour - 1500 words equiv.)30%; Class preparation and participation (equivalent to 300 words)10%
Additional comment: Level 3 students will be expected to demonstrate greater capacity for independent research and will be required to answer test and essay questions of a more conceptually challenging nature.

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week


A first-year sequence