This module traces the history of feminist theory and the emergence of gender studies and feminist movements with masculinity studies and queer theory as powerful sub-fields. Tracing the early traditions of feminism and definitions of women’s issues and struggles for equality, globally, and in Southern Africa, we next follow the rise of black feminist thoughts in India, Latin America, the USA and on the African continent, and the rise of the fields of gay and lesbian studies since the 1980s. We end with a focus on the emergence of the study of masculinities in our region. Oscillating between key texts and applied examples and case studies, the module is both theoretical and empirical. This module traces and examines the many intersectional and overlapping threads in the formation of systems power and as well as arguments for freedom, bound up with and shaped by ‘gender’ as a key form of human identity.
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