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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Area of Study

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences
School of Political and Social Inquiry
Campus(es)Clayton, Gippsland


Women's and gender studies is an exciting interdisciplinary field of study offering feminist perspectives on gender, sexuality and culture. The study programs provide graduates with a broad knowledge of, and a familiarity with, a wide range of feminist and social and cultural theories and methodologies of gender. The postgraduate programs seek to bring innovative theory and research techniques to the study of women's lives, their status in society, and the dilemmas and contradictions surrounding gender identity, power relations and sexualities. In this way, women's studies attempts to correct the absence of material on women and gender relations that for a long time characterised more traditional areas of study. Women's and gender studies also emphasises the diversity of women's experience and the different cultural and historical forms of gendered and sexual embodiment and experience. Beyond general considerations of the changing status of women and where dominant ideas and assumptions about gender and sexual difference come from, women's and gender studies therefore also covers broader issues of:

  • how different cultures shape gender identities and sexualities
  • how questions of sex or gender relate to questions of class, ethnicity, race, nation, sexuality, religion, ability and age
  • how women and gender are represented in film, literature and the media
  • shifting cultural and historical modes of femininity and masculinity and transgender
  • the role of women and gender in important political, economic, sociological and philosophical debates.

Supervisory expertise is offered in:

  • feminist literary, historical and cultural studies
  • feminist pedagogy
  • film, visual culture, popular culture and performance
  • gender and crime
  • gender and cultural difference
  • gender studies
  • medicine, birth and motherhood
  • postcolonialism and indigeneity
  • sexuality studies
  • transgender, feminist and queer theory.

Relevant Courses

  • 3937 Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Research)
  • 2695 Master of Arts *
  • 2846 Master of Arts by research and coursework
  • 0020 Doctor of Philosophy*

* By research.