This course introduces students to the central issues at stake in designing and carrying out gender research at graduate and postgraduate level and beyond. The course maps the history of debates about gender and feminist research, and asks what difference it makes to take gender as the subject or object of research. Of particular concern are the ethical and political issues arising from doing gender research with respect to representing others and seeking to influence and engage with broader social contexts. Students will be introduced to debates about subjectivity and objectivity, the relationship between researcher and researched, and asked to evaluate the usefulness of particular methods and approaches.
The course is interdisciplinary, introducing students to a range of perspectives on knowledge production and research practice.
The course offers critiques of existing knowledge practices, and highlights the specific challenges to 'mainstream knowledge' that come from gendered and feminist perspectives. It explores how knowledge is produced and offers critical assessments of the dominant debates in gendered research practice, asking how we ensure that we conduct research ethically. Finally, the course focuses on the methodological challenges arising within interdisciplinary research. Through a discussion on methodological questions, it provides an opportunity to reflect on andsynthesize a range of research design issues addressed on the course through producing and collectively evaluating student designed research proposals.