Syllabus for Gendered Bodies: Theories and Challenges

Gendered Bodies: Theories and Challenges


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5GN022
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Gender Research A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2008-04-01
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Arts
  • Revised: 2018-08-23
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Arts
  • Applies from: week 02, 2019
  • Entry requirements: A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
  • Responsible department: Centre for Gender Research

Decisions and guidelines

The Centre for Gender Research is responsible for the course. The course is part of the two-year Master programme given by Centre for Gender Research.

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course students will:

  • Have acquired advanced insight into different feminist theoretical perspectives on the body.
  • Have gained a deeper level of understanding regarding the constitution of bodies, their boundaries, and possibilities in relation to their spatio-temporal context.
  • Be able to trace historical conceptualisations of bodies and to recognise social, cultural, and political dimensions of how bodily limits of normality and abnormality have been constituted.
  • Enhance their capacity to critical thinking, problem identification and solving, as well as developing their communication skills, research and knowledge positioning, and concern for quality.


The aim of this course is to provide a comprehensive overview of the vast field of theory of the body within gender and feminist research. Looking at various different ways in which the body and embodiment are approached and conceptualised, we will discuss issues concerning both the stability and the fluidity of bodies, focusing on the force of the sexually marked body for the stabilisation of conventional gender identities as well as the body as a subversive force and the carrier of changing temporal and spatial inscriptions.


The course is concentrated around seminars.


Examination includes oral presentations and a written paper on a theme of the course and compulsory attendance and participation in the seminars. All essays will undergo a plagiarism check.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 27, 2020

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.


The reading list will be updated every year, at the latest 5 weeks before the course starts.

Reading list

  • Adeyemi, Kemi The Practice of Slowness: : Black Queer Women and the Right to the City

    Part of:

    GLQ : a journal of lesbian and gay studies

    vol. 25 (2019) nr. 4 s. p. 545-567 (22 pp)

    p. 545-567 (22 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Ahmed, Sara Some Preliminary Remarks on the Founding Gestures of the "New Materialism"

    Part of:

    The European journal of women's studies.

    vol. 15 (2008) nr. 1 s. 23-39

    (16 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Ahmed, Sara Strange encounters [Elektronisk resurs] : embodied others in post-coloniality

    London: Routledge, 2000

    Chapter 1. pp 21-37 (16 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Barad, Karen Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter

    Part of:

    Signs : journal of women in culture and society

    vol. 28 (2003) nr. 3 s. 801-831

    (30 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Berthold, Dana Tidy Whiteness: : A Genealogy of Race, Purity, and Hygiene

    Part of:

    Ethics & the environment [Elektronisk resurs]

    Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001-

    vol. 15 (2010) nr. 1 s. 1-26 (25 pp)

    p. 1-26 (25 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Bond, Emma Writing Migration through the Body

    1st ed. 2018.: Cham: Springer International Publishing AG, 2018

    Chapter 1-4, pp 1-148 (148 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Brah, Avtar Cartographies of diaspora [Elektronisk resurs] : contesting identities

    London: Routledge, 1996

    Find in the library

  • Butler, Judith Bodies that matter : on the discursive limits of "sex"

    New York: Routledge, 1993

    pp. 1-16 (16 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Classen, Constance Foundations for an Anthropology of the Senses

    Part of:

    International social science journal.

    (1997) nr. 153

    p. 401-412 (11 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Dame, Joke Sexual difference and the castrato

    Part of:

    Brett, Philip; Wood, Elizabeth; Thomas, Gary C. Queering the pitch : the new gay and lesbian musicology

    2., [rev. and expanded] ed.: New York: Routledge, 2006

    p. 139-153 (15 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Dolezal, Luna The body and shame : phenomenology, feminism, and the socially shaped body

    Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, [2015]

    Find in the library

  • Folkmarson Käll, Lisa A being of two leaves : on the founding significance of the lived body

    Part of:

    Bromseth, Janne C. H.; Folkmarson Käll, Lisa; Mattsson, Katarina Body claims

    Uppsala: Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University, 2009

    S. 110-133

    Find in the library

  • Grosz, Elizabeth Volatile bodies : toward a corporeal feminism

    Bloomington: Indiana University Press, cop. 1994

    Chapter 1, pp. 3-26 (23 p.)

    Find in the library

  • hooks, bell Eating the Other

    Part of:

    Gilmartin, Christina; Lydenberg, Robin; Hesse-Biber, Sharlene Nagy Feminist approaches to theory and methodology : an interdisciplinary reader

    New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999

    (1999) s. 179-194

    (15 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Kier, Bailey Interdependent ecological transsex: Notes on re/production, "transgender" fish, and the management of populations, species, and resources

    Part of:

    Women & performance : a journal of feminist theory

    New York, N.Y.: Women & Performance Project at the Dept. of Performance Studies, New York University/Tisch School of the Arts, 1983-

    vol. 20 (2010) nr. 3 s. 299-319

    (21 p.)

    Find in the library

  • King, Jason Which way is down? Improvisations on black mobility

    Part of:

    Women & performance : a journal of feminist theory

    New York, N.Y.: Women & Performance Project at the Dept. of Performance Studies, New York University/Tisch School of the Arts, 1983-

    vol. 14 (2004) nr. 1

    p. 25-45 (20 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Kunst, Bojana Subversion and the Dancing Body Autonomy on Display

    Part of:

    Performance research [Elektronisk resurs]

    London: Routledge, 1996-

    vol. 8 (2003) nr. 2

    p. 61-68 (7 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Langston, Nancy Toxic bodies : hormone disruptors and the legacy of DES

    New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011

    Chapters 1,3,4,6,8 (totally 87 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Lorde, Audre Age, race, class, and sex: women redefining difference

    Part of:

    Lorde, Audre Sister outsider : essays and speeches

    Berkeley, Calif.: Crossing Press, c2007.,

    (2007) s. 114-124

    (10 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Lönn, Maria Fractured whiteness: : On the sensory and temporal conditions of Russian femininity

    Part of:

    Lönn, Maria Bruten vithet : om den ryska femininitetens sinnliga & temporala villkor

    Stockholm: Leopard förlag, 2018

    (handout) (10 pages)

    Find in the library

  • Marks, Laura Thinking Multisensory Culture

    Part of:

    Paragraph : the journal of the Modern Critical Theory Group

    Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1983-

    vol. 31 (2008) nr. 2

    p. 123-137 (14 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Murray, Samantha Normative imperatives vs pathological bodies : constructing the "fat" woman

    Part of:

    Australian feminist studies

    Adelaide: Research Centre for Women's Studies, University of Adelaide, 1985-

    p. 213-224 (23 pp)

    2008(23), 56, s. 213-224

    Find in the library

  • Phelan, Peggy Unmarked : the politics of performance

    London: Routledge, 1993

    pp. 1-110 and 146-166 (129 p.) NB: is also available 2003 ed.

    Find in the library

  • Robertson, Jennifer Gendering Humanoid Robots: : Robo-Sexism in Japan

    Part of:

    Body & society.

    Sage, 1995-

    vol. 25 (2010) nr. 4 s. p. 545-567 (22 pages)

    Find in the library

  • Smith, Mark M. How Race Is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses [Elektronisk resurs]

    University of North Carolina Press, 2006

    p. 1-47 (46 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Sobchack, Vivian Choreography for One, Two, and Three Legs (A phenomenological meditation in movements)

    Part of:

    International journal of performance arts and digital media [Elektronisk resurs]


    vol. 13 (2017) nr. 2

    p. 183-198 (15 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Sundén, Jenny Steampunk Practices: : Time, Tactility, and a Racial Politics of Touch

    Part of:

    Ada : a journal of gender, new media, and technology [Elektronisk resurs]


    (2014) nr. 5 s. ca 15

    Approx. 15 pages

    Find in the library

  • Thomson, Rosemarie Garland Staring : how we look

    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009

    p. 3-32 (29 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Tuana, Nancy Viscous porosity: witnessing Katrina

    Part of:

    Hekman, Susan J.; Alaimo, Stacy Material feminisms

    Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008

    (2008) s. 85-120

    (26 p.)

    Find in the library

  • Weiss, G. The natural, the normal, and the normative: : A Merleau-Pontian legacy to feminist theory, critical race theory, and disability studies

    Part of:

    Continental Philosophy Review

    vol. 48 (2015) nr. 1 s. 77-93 (16 pp)

    Find in the library

  • Wilson, Elizabeth Gut Feminism

    Part of:

    Differences b a journal of feminist cultural studies

    vol. 15 (2004) nr. 3 s. 66-94

    Find in the library

  • Young, Iris Marion Throwing like a girl : a phenomenology of feminine body comportment, motility and spatiality

    Part of:

    Human studies : a journal for philosophy and the social sciences

    Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1978-

    (20 p.)

    3(1980):2, s. 137-156

    Find in the library

Reading list revisions