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Unit of study_

GCST6905: Gender in Cultural Theory

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

What is the relation between femininity, masculinity and culture? Does sexual difference affect our identity and, if so, how and in what circumstances? Does it affect our relations with others? Is there any link between cultural and racial difference and sexual difference? What contexts may shape such links? Where does equality fit into all this? Drawing on the work of major cultural theorists and feminist thinkers this unit examines various theoretical conceptualizations and popular representations of gender; the issue of embodiment; and how sex and race are articulated within gendered conceptual frames.

Unit details and rules

Unit code GCST6905
Academic unit Gender and Cultural Studies
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Arpita Das,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Participation group assignment Discussion Facilitation
Facilitation of class discussion
10% - Bring a set of 3-5 discussion prompts
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Presentation Presentation
In-class oral presentation
15% - Equivalent of 500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Final Paper
Research paper on a case study of your choice (approved by coordinator)
45% Formal exam period
Due date: 18 Nov 2022 at 23:59
3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Critical Essay
See Canvas for details
20% Week 05
Due date: 05 Sep 2022 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Final Paper Outline
Outline of Final Paper (topic, theories, research question)
10% Week 11
Due date: 21 Oct 2022 at 23:59
300 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.


For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Mid-semester break MID-SEMESTER BREAK (no seminar this week) Seminar (2 hr)  
Week 01 INTRODUCTION: What is gender? Why does it matter? Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 Feminist Standpoints Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Gender Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 04 Masculinities Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Archives & Feminist Research Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 06 Who's Missing? Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 07 Trans Identities Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 08 Sexing the Nation Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 09 Encounters with Gender in the Clinic Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 10 Gender in Sport Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 11 Gender & Reproduction Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 12 Student Presentations Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 13 Student Presentations Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Lectures will be recorded and made available to students via ‘Recorded Lectures’ (select the relevant week/module). However, you should not rely on lecture recordings to substitute your (online) classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spending approximately three hours preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings (including notes and instructions) will be available via the ‘Reading List’ tab on the Canvas site.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. This unit aims: To introduce students to key debates and concepts in the study of culture in relation to gender and sexuality, including gendered aspects of representation; to provide students with a broad explanatory and historical framework in which to position these concepts;to give students critical reading skills to perform close reading of theoretical and other texts, and form responses to these; to give students the writing and discussion skills to convey their responses to texts clearly to an audience.
  • LO2. This unit will help to develop the following skills and attributes: The ability to formulate and analyse significant problems regarding questions of gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and subjectivity in relation to culture in the contemporary world; the ability to explain how cultural analysis and research contributes to understanding complex questions of gender, and how gender informs theories and practices of culture; skills in taking responsibility for their own learning and intellectual development in relation to these issues; an appreciation of the complexity of ethical issues arising in this field of study.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Some changes have been made with weekly topics and readings to engage with newer debates


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.