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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Geography

GEOG3997: FEMINIST GEOGRAPHIES: INTIMACY, BODY, STATE

Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • Any Level 2 BA Geography Module

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of feminist geographies and the place of feminism and feminist theory within geography and related social sciences
  • To evaluate the breadth and form of feminist geographical research drawn from the Global North and Global South across a range of key themes related to the study of the intimacies, including space, ‘the body’, mothering, violence, geopolitics, and the transnational
  • To engage critically with key debates in contemporary feminist geography and related social sciences in seminar and workshop settings
  • To develop feminist informed critical thinking skills in relation to academic and non-academic sources through the completion of a feminist geographies research diary

Content

  • Increasingly, feminist geographers are turning to the concept of ‘intimacy’ to perform the work of connecting seemingly disconnected spaces and theories and taking apart those that are implied to be self-contained. Intimacy performs work central to feminist geographical thinking, facilitating the critical assessment of the assumptions implicit within disciplinary frameworks and concepts by disaggregating spatial and scalar perspectives used within geography, and challenging the use of binary spatial thinking, such as public/ private, global/ local, and macro/ micro, for being masculinist, disembodied, and essentialist. Intimacy is a concept that opens up the space for feminist geographical analyses that situates global processes like globalization, nationhood, neo-colonialism, and capitalism within spheres of life related to materiality, emotions, relationships, and the biopolitical. In short, feminist geographies of intimacy illuminate the connectedness and blending of spaces and scales within people’s lived, embodied and emotional experiences.
  • This module will seek to develop an understanding of feminist geographies of intimacy across the three themes of ‘space’, ‘bodies’ and ‘nations’. In so doing, a range of theoretical work, research case studies and examples drawn from non-academic sources will be explored which will focus specifically on some of the following topics: ‘the everyday, ‘the home’, mothering, violence, sexuality, geopolitics, political economies, transnational ties, memory, solidarity, emotions and affect, migration, friendship, the senses, technologies and social justice movements.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of contemporary feminist geographical research on ‘intimacy’
  • Critically reflect on a range of concepts and theoretical approaches central to feminist geography research on ‘intimacy’
  • Situate feminist geographical research within key conceptual debates across geography and related social science fields
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Think critically and engage with social and political issues related to intimacy, and the contribution that feminist geographical analysis and related social science understandings could make to understanding and addressing these issues
  • Evaluate and apply key feminist concepts and approaches to contemporary problems and issues
  • Produce writing that engages with key conceptual and substantive debates within feminist geography
  • Produce a group poster that visually represents the relationship between feminist geographical conceptualisations of intimacy and non-academic sources
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate clear and effective academic written communication skills
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect critically on academic and non-academic sources using a feminist approach
  • Demonstrate an ability to synthesise information and to develop an argument in relation to contemporary issues and problems

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will be provided online or face to face as a means to introduce the field of feminist geographies and provide historical and disciplinary context for the three thematics (i.e. spaces, bodies and geopolitics). They will highlight the main concepts and theories that feminist geographers use to research intimacy and the intimate, and draw on relevant case studies from geographical and wider social science research and non-academic sources. Each lecture will also integrate activities for the students to undertake which are related to the material covered and will help to deepen and extend the student’s knowledge and understanding. This could include watching short videos, analysing images or text and interrogating entries in the feminist geographies diary
  • A 60 minutes online Q and A session with a member of staff will be provided for each of the lectures. This allows students to ask question about the material and activities presented in each lecture.
  • Seminars will provide an environment for exploring topic areas in greater depth, and will involve independent and critical thinking as well as a variety of learning techniques such as group discussion, presentations, or responses to media examples
  • The workshop will be framed by core readings and will provide an opportunity to connect the ongoing Feminist Geographies Diary project with central course themes. The workshop will involve small group discussion, presentations, or other diverse learning techniques
  • Formative assessment (Group poster presentation) will draw on students’ abilities to synthesize concepts and theories present within feminist geographies of intimacy, critically reflect on non-academic sources generated from their ongoing feminist geographies diaries, and visually present the information in a clear, accessible, and understandable format. Work within groups and peer assessment of group posters will allow for a wide range of feedback to support the summative assessment.
  • Summative assessment (Evaluative essay on feminist geographies diary) will require in-depth engagement with concepts and theories from feminist geographical research on intimacy and demonstrate an application of these concepts and theories in a reflexive, self-critical, and personal analysis using examples taken from the feminist geographies diary

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 Weekly 2 hours 14
Online Q & A session 7 Weekly 1 hour 7
Seminars 3 Varies 2 hours 6
Workshop (group poster presentation) 1 2 hours 2
Workshop 1 2 hours 2
Reading and preparation 69
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Evaluative Essay on Feminist Geographies Diary Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Evaluative Essay on Feminist Geographies Diary Max 5 pages A4 100%

Formative Assessment:

The formative assignment will be a small group poster presentation which provides a visually accessible, critical reflection which draws on non-academic sources (e.g. newspaper, leaflet, article, film, song, television programme, book, magazine article, webpage, blog post, photograph, etc.). The poster should provide an explanation of why the sources are of relevance to particular concepts, research topics and theories covered in the module concerned with feminist geographies of intimacy. The poster should demonstrate ‘critical thinking’ in that it should bring to light the assumptions that inform the non-academic sources in term of what intimacy is, who has it (or not) and where it takes place. The posters will be assessed during the workshops through both peer review and instructor feedback.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University



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