HS3S101-Gender in Africa, A

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: HS3S151 Gender in Africa, B
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Heike Schmidt

Email: h.i.schmidt@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Specials aim to provide ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through close examination and evaluation of primary sources and the light they shed on issues and problems.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•recognise and interpret a range of different primary materials
•undertake detailed textual analysis and comment on the primary materials
•achieve a detailed command of varying historical interpretations of the primary materials and subject as a whole
•organise material and articulate arguments effectively in writing under timed conditions

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources.

Outline content:
This module explores gender in the African past. While there is a focus on women’s experiences, it takes the broader approach of gender and gendered history. The first looks at gender as a historical formation, while the latter assumes that gender relations are relevant for a full understanding of all historical problems. The module provides insight into gender history as an approach within the historical discipline and at the same time it examines the gender historiography of Africa south of the Sahara. Some of the questions raised are: How do gender relations relate to wider power relations, for example in African slave owning and trading societies? How did the onset of colonialism transform gender identities? How do religions, such as Islam and spirit cults, intersect with gender? How does the gender division of labour reflect and inform gender identities? What are African masculinities? More broadly, this module asks: Is gender a useful category of historical analysis, as Joan Scott postulated in 1986? If so, is it universal or culturally specific? After some introductory readings, we will trace these questions through historiography and case studies across time and space which provide grounding in the history of Africa. Furthermore, this module raises questions of historical methodology. A widely published genre in African history is that of personal narratives. In the 1980s life-stories appeared to provide an opportunity to recover subaltern voices, especially those of women. Since then, however, this methodology has been severely criticized and transformed.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching for this module and for HS3S151 together involves weekly two-hour discussion seminars. Students will gain ‘hands-on’ experience of the historian’s task through the detailed evaluations of key texts, and the light they shed on the issues and problems being investigated. Students are expected to carry out self-directed revision in the Summer term. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 11 11
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 88 89
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Between two and four pieces of formative written work, for instance essays, seminar presentations, book reviews, posters, will normally be required for this Special Subject over the two terms.
Students will be required to prepare for seminars through reading from both the primary sources and the secondary literature. Practice commentaries on the sources will be required for formative assessment.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A three-hour paper involving detailed commentary on extracts from the sources studied.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Students who fail Part Three are permitted one further attempt at a resit in each module they have failed. Students who fail Part Three will no longer be eligible for an Honours Degree, but, assuming the necessary threshold after the resit (normally an overall average of 35% or above) is achieved, students will obtain a Pass Degree. Re-examination in August, where students are permitted to re-sit this module.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: Purchase of textbooks is not compulsory, but students should consider setting aside £25 per course to cover the purchase of useful books
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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