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Module UXS-2050:
Race & Gender

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Gregory Frame

Overall aims and purpose

This module focuses on the role that sex, gender, ethnicity and race have played in the creation, reception and theoretical construction of various forms of film and visual culture. This course will cover the key theories and approaches to the study of Race and Gender in film and visual culture focusing specifically on the legacy of (post)colonialism in Hollywood and non-Hollywood cinema, the constructions of masculinity and femininity in mainstream cinema, and how theories of race and gender have contributed to contemporary readings of selected visual and cultural texts. Students will be encouraged to question the role of Race and Gender in film and visual culture as well as gaining an advanced grounding in film and cultural theory.

Course content

Topics that will be looked at will include: feminist filmmaking; representing women and men on film; black women in film; colonialism and post-colonialism in cinema; filmmaking from the developing world; film and the representation of historical trauma in Rwanda; gender, race and genre.

Assessment Criteria


D- to D+

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.


C- to B+

Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.


A- to A*

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. You will be able to connect representations of race and gender in contemporary visual culture to broader social concepts of identity.

  2. Apply theories of race and gender to the study of selected visual texts.

  3. Historicise and critically reflect upon theories of gender and sexuality within the field of popular visual culture.

  4. Historicise and critically reflect upon theories of race and ethnicity within the field of popular visual culture.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY A 2000-word essay that addresses the theoretical background of the module. You should apply ONE week’s set reading to a close analysis of its corresponding module film.

A 2000-word essay that will focus on the theoretical background of the module.

ESSAY A 3000-word essay that will focus on the application of the theories to specific visual texts

A 3000-word essay that will focus on the application of the theories to specific visual texts


Teaching and Learning Strategy


2 hour workshop per week x 11 weeks


1 hour formal lecture x 11 weeks

Private study 134

3 hour screening per week x 11 weeks


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting


Resource implications for students

As currently planned students should not have to purchase any resources.

Talis Reading list

Reading list

Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall (eds.) Visual Culture: The Reader (London: Sage Press, 1999).

Amelia Jones (ed.) The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader (London and New York: Routledge, 2003)

Lisa Bloom, With Other Eyes: Looking at Race and Gender in Visual Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (London: Routledge, 1990), Chapter 1.

Robert Stam and Louise Spence, ‘Colonialism, Racism and Representation’, Screen 24:2 (1983), pp. 2-20.

Silvia Bovenschen, ‘Is there a feminine aesthetic?’, New German Critique 10 (Winter 1977), pp. 111-137.

Claire Johnston, ‘Women’s cinema as counter cinema’, in Sue Thornham (ed.) Feminist Film Theory: A Reader (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), pp. 31-40.

Lisa Coulthard, ‘Killing Bill: Rethinking feminism and film violence’, in Yvonne Tasker and Diane Negra (eds.) Interrogating Postfeminism: Gender and the Politics of Popular Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007), pp. 153-75.

Elizabeth Hills, ‘From “figurative males” to action heroines: further thoughts on active women in the cinema’, Screen 40:1 (1999), pp. 38-50.

Steve Neale, ‘Masculinity as Spectacle’, Screen 24:6 (1983), pp. 2-17.

Richard Dyer, ‘Don’t look now: the instabilities of the male pin-up’, Only Entertainment (Hoboken: Taylor and Francis, 2005), pp. 122-37.

bell hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation (New York: Routledge, 2015) (Chapter 3).

Rachel Alicia Griffin, ‘Black Feminist Reflections on the Power and Politics of Representation in Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls’, in Jamal Santa Cruze Bell and Ronald L. Jackson II (eds.) Interpreting Tyler Perry: Perspectives on Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality (New York: Routledge, 2013), pp. 169-186.

Fernando Solanas and Ocatvio Getino, ‘Towards a Third Cinema’, in Bill Nichols (ed.) Movies and Methods I (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976), pp. 44-64.

Frantz Fanon, ‘The So-Called Dependency Complex of Colonized Peoples’, in Black Skin, White Masks

Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, ‘The Imperial Imaginary’, in Unthinking Eurocentrism, pp. 100-36.

Homi K. Bhabha, ‘The other question: stereotypes in colonial discourse’, in Evans and Hall (eds.) Visual Culture, pp. 370-8.

Robert Ferguson, ‘Otherness, Eurocentrism and the Representation of Race’, in Representing Race: Ideology, Identity and the Media (London: Arnold, 1998), pp. 65-84.

Sharon Monteith, ‘Civil Rights Movement Film’, in Julie Armstrong (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Civil Rights Literature (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), pp. 123-42.

E. Ann Kaplan, ‘Vicarious trauma and “empty” empathy’, in Trauma Culture: The Politics of Terror and Loss in Media and Literature (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2005), pp. 87-100.

Sara L. Rubin, ‘Specificity in Genocide Portrayal on Film: Sometimes in April (2005)’, in John L. Michalczyk, SJ Raymond G Helmick (eds.) Through a Lens Darkly: Films of Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing (New York: Peter Lang, 2013), pp. 225-32.

Mahmood Mamdani, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and the Genocide in Rwanda (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002).

Samantha Vice, ‘“How do I live in this strange place?”’, Journal of Social Philosophy 41:3 (2010), pp. 323-42.

Melissa Steyn, ‘“White Talk”: White South Africans and the management of diasporic whiteness’, in Alfred J. Lopez (ed.) Postcolonial Whiteness: A Critical Reader on Race and Empire (New York: State University of New York Press, 2005), pp. 119-36.

Adam Haupt, ‘Black Masculinity and the Tyranny of Authenticity in South African Popular Culture’, in Adrian Hadland, Eric Louw, Simphiwe Sesanti and Herman Wasserman (eds.) Power, Politics and Identity in South African Media (Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2008), pp. 378-98.

Jane Stadler, ‘Tsotsis, Coconuts and Wiggers: Black Masculinity and Contemporary South African Media’, in Power, Politics and Identity in South African Media, pp. 343-63.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: