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University of Glasgow

A Global History of Sex and Gender: Bodies and Power in the Modern World

University of Glasgow via FutureLearn


Study historical perspectives on contemporary issues of sex and gender

This course offers you the chance to explore vital historical perspectives on key contemporary issues surrounding sexuality and gender, including the #MeToo movement, campaigns for gay and trans rights, equal pay, and reproductive justice.

Track the history of the #MeToo movement

Whether you’re a curious citizen keen to learn more or you have a vocational commitment to implementing new perspectives on gender and sexuality at work, you’ll trace today’s social justice movements back to 1600, exploring the cultural and legal contexts of sexual abuse, gender-based violence, and bodily autonomy.

Through case studies of modern social justice movements, you’ll develop your understanding of the operation of, and resistance to, patriarchal and heteronormative power in diverse historical and geographical settings.

As you get to grips with sexuality and queer experiences in the modern era, you’ll explore reproductive rights issues like contraception, abortion, surrogacy, and fertility.

Explore key gender equality issues like LQBTQIA rights and the gender pay gap

You’ll study core concepts used in gender history and feminist, queer, and trans studies, including patriarchal equilibrium, hegemonic masculinity, and intersectionality.

Through creative forms of assessment, you’ll develop your skills in applying gendered and sexual approaches to a range of historical materials, such as oral testimony and material artefacts, as well as written texts.

Learn from social history experts at the Centre for Gender History

The course will be delivered by the interdisciplinary team at the Centre for Gender History at the University of Glasgow.

With world-leading expertise in this area, you’ll enhance your knowledge in gendered and sexual history with experts in the field of gender studies.

This course is designed for anyone interested in gendered and sexual history or history and social science more broadly.

However, the inclusion of theoretical material covered in the course and assessments will be useful for heritage, third-sector, educational and media workers, looking to reskill or upskill by enhancing their gender studies portfolio and expertise.

We are committed to supporting charities who work in the area of Gender-Based Violence. Together with FutureLearn, we will be donating a combined total of 10% of net proceeds of this course, over a three year period, to White Ribbon Scotland. White Ribbon Scotland do amazing work encouraging men and boys to end violence against women through awareness-raising and activism and by encouraging all men and boys to sign the White Ribbon pledge. They are part of a worldwide movement and in Scotland and further afield they work at grassroots level with many local groups. This donation will make a big impact on their ability to continue their work.


  • Gender and power
    • Introductions
    • Gender and Sexual History: An Approach
    • Patriarchy, Masculinity and Power
    • Gender fluidity and trans history
  • Sex and Intimacy
    • Introduction
    • Sexual 'Liberation' in the 1960s and 1970s
    • Queer Stories from History
    • The Politics of Reproduction
  • Work and Care
    • Introduction
    • Care
    • Work
    • Gender & the Material Culture of Work & Care
  • Histories of Feminism
    • Introduction
    • Intersectional feminism
    • Political rights
    • Cultural feminism
    • End of week 4 and course

Taught by

Tanya Cheadle


4.5 rating at FutureLearn based on 97 ratings

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