Below you find the course descriptions of Gender Studies (Research). The programme consists of compulsory courses, electives and a Master's thesis. Alternatively, you can do an internship or study abroad. Read more about the curriculum.

Compulsory

Humanities Today (compulsory)

In Humanities Today, students from the different ICON research master programs are invited to discuss, with one another, the key concepts and turns that are at stake in their particular field of interest. In interdisciplinary groups a series of influential texts that work with these ideas are being read and discussed. Also, professors from the various fields of our interest are being invited to join the discussion and to elaborate on how and why these themes matter today in the arts and in society.

Career orientation:
Students are familiarized with very contemporary research, which is helpful for shaping their future research profile on the academic job market and beyond.

Advanced Introduction to Gender Studies (compulsory)

This is an advanced introductory course providing research master students with a theoretico-methodological framework, and enhancing students' understanding of the meaning, function and methodological value of the key concepts of feminist, queer, and postcolonial theory, among others. Special emphasis in this course lies on how to approach academic work, and how to engage critically with textual materials and with students' individual research interests. The course also introduces the students to various debates and traditions of feminist theory and elaborates the terms 'gender', 'race', 'sexuality',  'difference,' 'other’, ‘experience' and 'location' (among others) in feminist scholarship. Participants are expected to approach the course from the perspective of their research topics and interests.

This course is for students in the RMA Gender Studies and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Contemporary Feminist Debates (compulsory)

The course is designed to introduce RMA students to the state of the arts in contemporary feminist critique. It tackles and illustrates contemporary debates through lectures by the different staff members of the Graduate Gender Programme. The legacies of these debates will be traced by way of establishing connections between major thinkers in order to explore both how theories have travelled through space and time, and how debates transform and are re-written over time. The course will focus on how these debates have impacted on different disciplinary and theoretical strands in Gender Studies (i.e performativity; intersectionality; difference; subalternity; representation; new materialism; posthuman; queer; ecofeminism). The course aims to offer students a wide array of methodological and theoretical debates that will allow them to contextualise and position their research topics, including international developments in gender theories from an interdisciplinary perspective.

This course is for students in the RMA Gender Studies and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Theory and Critical Research I (compulsory)

This core research seminar is designed for Research MA students in Gender (and Postcolonial) Studies. It introduces students to cutting edge research, with specific focus on a cartographic approach to the genre of 'feminist theories' (used here as umbrella term for the fields of feminist, queer, critical race, postcolonial studies perspectives). This course explores the most important strands of feminist theorizing in the last decades up to today. The course opens with a situating of the ideas that helped to shape the project of Gender Studies in Europe such as we know it today. The seminar then investigates into the multiple domains in which race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class and ability shape our daily experience and how they can be accounted for in research work. Central topics to be explored are: deconstruction of binary oppositions structuring (Western) thought; deconstruction of eurocentrism; the debate of essentialism vs. (social) constructionism; decolonial knowledges in feminist research; trans, queer, and posthuman(ist) challenges to the sex/gender matrix in Gender Studies.

Career orientation:
This course trains the students in foundational knowledge in the field of Gender Studies and emphasizes their socio-political embedding and relevance. It thereby teaches the students in foundational manners to contribute to a societally relevant understanding of higher education in the humanities.

This course is for students in the RMA Gender Studies and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Theory and Critical Research II (compulsory)

Following up on Theory and Critical Research I, this core research seminar delves more deeply into cutting-edge theory and critical research in feminist, queer, critical race, and/or postcolonial studies. While the topics covered in this seminar will change each year according to the instructor's area of expertise, the course will consistently pose questions that are of particular relevance to feminists and others concerned with social justice at this historical moment. The course will take as its point of departure an intersectional approach to gender, sexuality, race, nation, class, and ability, as well as to relations between subject matter, discipline, time, place, and theory. This research seminar will also trace the development of historical and theoretical understandings in the field of cultural analysis, examining the ways in which texts and images perform cultural hierarchies. The presented theoretical and conceptual frameworks will be illustrated by close readings and textual analyses. In addressing theory and critical research as an ongoing, future-oriented cultural endeavor, this course grapples with academic and ethical questions that are relevant to current politics with transnational relevance.

Career orientation:
This course trains the students in foundational knowledge in the field of Gender Studies and emphasizes their socio-political embedding and relevance. It thereby teaches the students in foundational manners to contribute to a societally relevant understanding of higher education in the humanities.

This course is for students in the RMA Gender Studies and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Researching Intersectionally I (compulsory)

This research seminar has the aim of building a student body that engages in a dialogical way with the study curriculum and with individual research interests. The course offers a supportive environment in which students can reflect on potential research topics and methodological directions at a meta-discursive level. Throughout the block, focus is placed on working in small groups organized around students’ potential research projects and on presenting this early-stage research to the class. Alongside these academic goals, this seminar also serves as a productive discussion space in which students can connect with one another around academic issues or challenges.

Career orientation:
The seminar trains students in formulating research questions and projects, in both oral and written form. This training will aid students in their future careers by learning communication and presentation skills in academic and non-academic contexts, thereby allowing them to increase the impact of their research.

Digital Humanities in Intersectional Research: Power, Discourses and Data Analysis (compulsory)

In this course, digital humanities – as a field that encompasses a humanities-informed approach that entails studying digital media and technology, engaging with processes of digital media production, practice and analysis – is approached through its entanglements with questions of subjectivity, identity, communities, knowledge, power, discourse, and cultural norms. These issues are addressed in a hands-on engagement with the digital tools developed within what has been named the ‘computational turn’ in the humanities: qualitative and qualitative data analysis tools, network analyses and data visualization online platforms, and data management and textual analysis software.
The module specifically addresses how, in the study of cultural-social-geo-political phenomena (e.g., gender inequalities, migrant and diasporic communities, online activism, minorities’ access to social services, distribution of human rights, transnational knowledge exchanges, development NGOs’ enterprises), the use of big data, the visualization of complex information, and the analysis of large databases are increasingly becoming (1) a source of concern and (2) powerful tools to access and affect knowledges on a global scale.

Career orientation:
The course offers the possibility to engage with cutting-edge scholarship in the digital humanities, which is helpful for shaping their future research profile on the academic job market and beyond.

Researching Intersectionally II (compulsory)

This research seminar has the aim of (1) building a student body that engages in a dialogical way with the study curriculum and individual research interests, and (2) forming research projects for students to pursue in year 2 of the study trajectory. The seminar offers a research environment in which students can refine their research topic, with special emphasis placed on epistemological questions, methodological issues, and theoretical perspectives. Whereas in Researching Intersectionally I emphasis is placed on exploring possible research interests, in this course the primary focus is on the development of an individual research project and on learning how to write a comprehensive thesis proposal. Throughout this process, students will slowly narrow down broad research interests into a coherent research project. This seminar also serves as a productive discussion space in which students can connect with one another on academic issues or challenges and also meet with alumni.

Career orientation:
The seminar trains students in writing a research proposal that shows sophisticated methodological grounding and socio-political relevance. This training helps students in their future careers by learning to communicate their research projects in academic and non-academic contexts and to increase the societal significance of their research. The seminar will also organise a workshop with alumni of the RMA program and will thereby enable networking for future professional possibilities.

Research MA Thesis Gender Studies (compulsory)

An RMA thesis is a scholarly developed research project in which the student is expected to contribute, on the basis of independent research, to a debate within the discipline. It should be structured around a central research question (set out in the introductory sections) to which it provides a response and thereby offers a contribution to existing scholarship (explicated in the individual chapters and in the conclusion).
The central research question must be clearly formulated in the thesis and its relevance to scholarly discussions within the discipline has to be shown. The body of the text should give a clear description and justification of the methodological and theoretical framework that is used to develop the response(s) to the research question, and employ a case study relevant to the research question or problem and its sociopolitical relevance.
The thesis is to be written in correct and clear English; it has a length of 30.000-35.000 words, and shall not exceed 40.000 words (including notes and bibliography). The individual thesis trajectory will be supervised by a staff member of the Graduate Gender Programme. The thesis will be evaluated by both the supervisor and a second reader of the thesis, the latter will be chosen and/or assigned in the process of the thesis trajectory.

Electives

Research Design I RMA Gender

This interdisciplinary module covers advanced academic skills to be developed at Research Master level such as: refining the already acquired research methodologies, submitting articles for scholarly journals, applying for national and private funding, development of ICT skills and knowledge, learning how to present at conferences and how to give feedback to peers, and how to write a proposal for a conference paper or a research project.
In the first semester, block 1 & 2, the Research Design consists of two different strands. The first strand focuses on developing skills and practical academic knowledge in activities such as: writing a research proposal, writing an academic CV and devising a Table of Contents. The second strand aims at developing skills in scholarly literacy and academic publishing. This entails writing and publishing a book review, and learning how to approach writing and publishing also in terms of time-management and effective professional communication. The two strands are interconnected throughout the semester.
The seminar aims to offer a research environment in which students can reflect on their research topic at a meta-discursive level, with special emphasis on methodological issues and theoretical perspectives.

Career orientation:
The students acquire skills to orient themselves in the academic/research job-market. They learn:
- how to find call for papers for journals and conferences in their areas of interests;
- how to find information for future employment;
- how to apply to PhD or grant opportunities;
- how to effectively communicate and approach experts.
The students also prepare their academic/professional CV, develop the appropriate language and style to apply for research positions, practice networking skills.

Research Design II RMA Gender

This interdisciplinary module continues to covers advanced academic skills to be developed at Research Master level such as: refinement of the already acquired research methodologies, writing of academic texts (e.g.: chapters of thesis, journal articles or conference papers), learning how to present original research and how to give feedback to peers.
The seminar aims to offer a research environment in which students can reflect on their research topic at a meta-discursive level, with special emphasis on methodological issues and theoretical perspectives.

Career orientation:
The students acquire skills to orient themselves in the future academic/research job-market. They learn:
- how to present their research findings in academic and non-academic environments
- how to engage practically in societal relevant research
- how to build academic and professional networks
- how to engage in peer review processes

Research School I

This is a course or seminar offered by one of the national research schools relevant for the student's research master and/or research specialisation. The contents and scheduling of these courses and seminars will be communicated by the research school.

Depending on your individual profile you are required to complete a minimum of either 5 or 10 EC selected from the courses or seminars coordinated by the research schools. Credits for courses and seminars (including special Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter Schools) vary, but the number of credits must add up to the minimum of required total EC’s for research school courses.
After completion of a course, students receive a certificate from the research school, with which the course title, grade and credit can be registered via the Student Desk. Information about registration will be provided by the research schools.

Research School II

This is a course or seminar offered by one of the national research schools relevant for the student's research master and/or research specialisation. The contents and scheduling of these courses and seminars will be communicated by the research school.

Depending on your individual profile you are required to complete a minimum of either 5 or 10 EC selected from the courses or seminars coordinated by the research schools. Credits for courses and seminars (including special Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter Schools) vary, but the number of credits must add up to the minimum of required total EC’s for research school courses.
 
After completion of a course, students receive a certificate from the research school, with which the course title, grade and credit can be registered via the Student Desk. Information about registration will be provided by the research schools.

Contemporary Cultural Theory

In this course, the newest developments in cultural theory (used here as an umbrella term for the fields of feminist, queer, postcolonial, critical race, posthuman(ist) and (new) materialist perspectives) are explored by reading key texts that are crucial to what can be called inspiration to the 'new humanities'. New materialism, critical and queer (post)humanisms, non-philosophy, and affect theory are just some of those currents at the forefront of this re-inscription of the humanities today that may be studied in this class each year. The course will select its text corpus in attunement with emerging theoretico-discursive developments, thereby providing a focused engagement with the subject of the 'new humanities' that speaks to a broad audience of cultural studies students. Without giving overviews or summaries, students in this class are asked to be part of cutting-edge scholarship by reading texts that matter 'today'. They are invited to 'do' the theory proposed in them by exposing themselves to the task of what Foucault once called a 'critical ontology of ourselves'. 

Career orientation:
The course provides students with cutting-edge intellectual debates in the broad field of Cultural Studies, with specific focus on Gender Studies discussions. Students are thereby  familiarized with very contemporary research, which is helpful for shaping their future research profile on the academic job market and beyond.

This course is for students in the RMA Gender Studies and GEMMA; students from other M.A. programmes should check with the course coordinator before enrolling. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Issues in Postcoloniality

This course will survey postcolonial theories relevant to understandings of our contemporary global world. The seminar aims to broaden understandings of mediated cultures within a transnational framework by highlighting how questions of gender, ethnicity, and diaspora are represented and conveyed in the face of colonial history, conflicts, postcolonial issues, and political transitions. In engaging with novels, films, theoretical work, and current events from the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries, we will be concerned with issues related to postcolonial critique, transnational feminist theories, peace and conflict studies, visual culture, and cultural theory, amongst other fields. In engaging with a range of themes and topics, (e.g., transitional justice, ecocriticism, transnational migrations, terrorism, neo-orientalism, cultural exoticism, social networks, democratic changes), we will be especially attentive to how race, ethnicity, nationality, and physical ability further structure and inform understandings of colonialism, postcolonialism, sex, and gender.

Career orientation:
This course directly engages with political, social, cultural, and theoretical issues relevant to a wide array of professional fields. Students learn to apply concrete case studies that effectively bridge academia, activism, and current events, thereby developing skills that can be applied to future professional endeavors, such as work in NGOs, governmental bodies, or academic/research institutions.

This course is for students in the RMA GS, CLS, MAP, RS and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Gender and Social Inclusion: Affective Labor, Welfare and Feminist Interventions

Feminist and gender research has a long tradition of addressing the ways in which social inclusion and social exclusion is gendered. The field includes early women's studies' attention to women's labor in public and private settings, the gender of reproductive and intimate labor, globalization and domestic labor migration, EU policies aimed at integration of women in the paid labor force and its discontents, activism aimed at private and public institutions as well as the commons. In this seminar, an historical approach to this wide field of scholarship  is combined with an introduction to the research methods of interviewing and oral history. For their final paper, students focus on an example of feminist or gender activist interventions. A 'translation' of relevance of findings to non-academic practices is an important component of this assignment (impact and valorization of research).  

Career orientation:
The seminar explicitly addresses the opportunities, dilemmas, and challenges of integrating scholarly work in social and political practices of feminist interventions. A 'management summary' or 'policy recommendation' aimed at readers who can use the findings in their professional or activist contexts is an important component of the final paper.

This course is for students in the RMA Gender Studies and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Religion and Secularism: Postsecular Perspectives

Central in the course is the idea that the Western secularization thesis - which considers the privatization and decline of religion an inevitable consequence of ‘modernization’ - fails to explain important social developments such as the resurgence and diversification of religious traditions and new forms of religiosities in Western societies. To investigate the role of religion and secularism in current Western societies, we will read different interpretations of the secular and secularism and discuss the changing scenery of religion (including practices, affiliations, faith-based activities and organizations, and new spiritual movements) in contemporary societies. In this context we will also discuss public perceptions of religion in modern, so-called secular, societies. Students will learn about the notion of the postsecular as an alternative way of grasping the relationship between religion and secularism. We will read various interpretations of the postsecular and will discuss critiques of this concept. The course explores these issues related to the relationship between religion and secularism and the so-called postsecular through multidisciplinary reading, including postcolonial and gender critical approaches.

Career orientation:
This course brings together cutting edge critical theory with public debates about religion and secularism in current Western societies. Students will thus get familiar with the most recent literature about these topics and learn to apply this literature to current debates in the public sphere. They will develop skills to critically analyse and reflect on current discourses about religion and secularism, which they can directly apply in their professional life.

This course is for students in the RMA GS, CLS, MAP, RS and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

The Body in Feminist Theory and Practice

This course familiarizes students with conceptual and theoretical approaches to analyzing the body, embodiment, and the embodied subject through its focus on the place of the corporeal in various interdisciplinary contexts (e.g., queer theory, visual studies, poststructuralist theory, affect theory, postcolonial studies). In approaching these thematics, the course will engage with a variety of different media, including literature, film, performance, and art. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on considerations of the body as a surface of inscription, as an object of representation, as the location of perception, as a site of affect, as a performative agent, and as a site of resistance. With a particular focus on queer and trans sexualities and genders, the course will be especially attuned to problematizing and destabilizing concepts of normality and abnormality. In addition, methodological concerns of doing research on the body from a feminist and queer critical perspective will be outlined through discussions and interrogations of the ways in which our own embodiment as researchers impinges on the work we do.

Career orientation:
This course allows students to develop important skills in critical analysis and rhetorical argumentation, which can then be applied to a variety of professional fields (e.g., media, politics, policy, academia, NGOs, etc.).

This course is for students in the RMA GS, CLS, MAP, RS and GEMMA. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Tutorial Gender, Art and Activism

In recent periods of political transition, coming to terms with the legacies of repression has typically involved establishing a tribunal and/or a truth commission. As Shoshana Felman has pointed out in The Juridical Unconscious (2002), her seminal work on trials and traumas, it is only in the second half of the twentieth century that a transnational shift to conceive of justice not simply as punishment but as a marked symbolic exit from the injuries of traumatic history can be observed. According to Felman, justice has gradually come to mean liberation from violence itself. Nevertheless, trials and truth commissions risk reenacting the traumas they try to end in subtle and invisible ways. Drawing from Felman and other feminist theories concerning the conceptualization of revolution and revolt, this course explores how the arts have the medium-specific potential to transcend the mandates of tribunals and truth commissions as instruments of transitional justice. We will address art’s particular ability to perform and work through destabilizing encounters. Students will be trained to demonstrate that art is able to unveil the differences within the categories of victims and perpetrators and has the capacity to function as the producer of differentiated theories of change.

Career orientation:
The course trains students to combine theory and activism. Feminist and postcolonial theory will be applied to cultural and political activism in such a way that academy (research), culture (festivals, expositions, installations, performances), and politics (NGOs) may benefit from the knowledge produced in this course.

Tutorial Gender Studies I

This module is intended exclusively for students in the RMA Gender Studies and offers students the opportunity to independently carry out further research in a specific area of interest. The tutorial is not a regular course, but a module that is open for enrolment only with prior consultation with the teacher with whom the tutorial is to be taken, and the coordinators as contact persons for the tutorial module. This module of independent study may focus on theoretical and comparative topics or on specific areas of specialisation within individual fields of interest. The tutorial is held in a small group, and students and supervisor agree on the particular aims of the module, the topic of investigation, and a plan of study. 

Career orientation:
This course allows students to gain depth of knowledge and to develop their abilities to carry out research and present results according to professional standards. Integration of theoretical reflection and empirical analysis will also have important bearings on future professional endeavors.

Tutorial Gender Studies II

This module is intended exclusively for students in the RMA Gender Studies and offers students the opportunity to independently carry out further research in a specific area of interest. The tutorial is not a regular course, but a module that is open for enrolment only with prior consultation with the teacher with whom the tutorial is to be taken, and the coordinators as contact persons for the tutorial module.  This module of independent study may focus on theoretical and comparative topics or on specific areas of specialisation within individual fields of interest. The tutorial is held in a small group, and students and supervisor agree on the particular aims of the module, the topic of investigation, and a plan of study. 

Career orientation:
This course allows students to gain depth of knowledge and to develop their abilities to carry out research and present results according to professional standards. Integration of theoretical reflection and empirical analysis will also have important bearings on future professional endeavors.

Internship or study abroad

Study Abroad / Across the Border

In order to apply for an exchange, you have to prepare a study plan which must be approved by the programme coordinator of your Master programme.
You should be aware that application for studying abroad is a complicated and time-consuming process and that you should start the process on time.
 
For more information:
http://students.uu.nl/en/academics/study-abroad
http://students.uu.nl/en/academics/study-abroad/faculty-information/humanities
 

Internship RMA Gender Studies

The internship consists of 10 full weeks of a work/research placement. It allows the student to develop a professional research engagement within the RMA study program. Under supervision of a staff member (internal supervisor), the student reflects on their own research proposal to identify organisations and institutions where they could conduct research that matches their own interests and aims. Before the start of the internship, a work plan is developed together with the supervisors (internal and at the organization/institution) that specifies in detail the activities, projects, and gender-studies relevant research components of the internship. At the end of the internship, the student composes a report detailing the research findings and academic reflections of the internship placement as well as how it connects to the eventual thesis.

Career orientation:
In constructing a concrete research project, the internship provides an opportunity for the student to function and to develop work- and research-related skills in the setting of a professional organisation. It provides students with the possibility to directly engage with the job market inside and outside of academia and enables them to establish a professional network.