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Representations of Gender, Love and Sexuality (Level 6)


Module description

In this module we explore the various ways in which love, desire and sexuality have been represented at different times, in different cultural contexts and within different cultural media. You will discover the reasons for these differences in cultural production by learning about the socio-historical contexts in which the texts were produced and the social and cultural norms to which they were responding and reacting.

You will also explore and develop an understanding of some key concepts from psychoanalysis and gender and political theory, and use these critical perspectives in your own interpretive practice.

Indicative syllabus

  • Love, duty and desire in the early Romantic novel: La Princesse de Clèves; The Sorrows of Young Werther
  • Casualties of desire: Death in Venice and The Reader
  • Sex across the divide: the Berlin Wall
  • Nineteenth-century Romantic sex: Chateaubriand
  • Twentieth-century feminist sex: Simone de Beauvoir
  • Representing sex work in Japanese cinema: The Insect Woman; Street of Shame
  • Women in and out of love: Annie Ernaux