Gender Topics in Spanish Society

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Gender Topics in Spanish Society

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    European Studies, Spanish, Women's and Gender Studies

  • Language Level

    Advanced, High Advanced

  • Prerequisites

    Students must be registered for Spanish 301 or have an equivalent level of the language.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course intends to offer an insight into contemporary politics, society and culture in Spain from a gender perspective. Its aim is to offer students a nuanced and in-depth vision of Spanish society and to aid them in the process of critical thinking within this subject area and in relation to comparisons between Spain and other countries.

    A short introduction on basic terminology and some theory will act as the basis for the perspective that we will be taking throughout the rest of the course.
    Spain presents certain characteristics that set it apart from other countries which hold similar cultural values, such as the rest of Western Europe and the USA. This is the reason why we are interested in analyzing how the dominant culture of the turbulent 20th century shaped and moulded its models of femininity, especially during the long dictatorship in Spain.

    Furthermore, we will focus on Spain in the present, in order to achieve an all-round perspective of the current situation for Spanish women and to find out what challenges they face. This includes studying the new struggles the feminist movement is fighting for, how intersectionality between feminism, ethnicity and social class works, how gender perspectives have entered the field of legislation, and what new forms of activism have social media given way to, amongst others.
    Last but not least, we will visit an organization that deals with gender issues in Bilbao in order to take a closer look at feminist activism in the local area.


    Week 1
    1.1 Basic terminology: feminism, sex vs. gender, heteropatriarchy, misogyny, androcentrism, gender gap, objectification, rape culture, glass ceiling, sisterhood, everyday sexism, etc.

    Weeks 2/3
    1.2 Feminist theories: enlightened feminism, the feminism of
    equality, the feminism of difference, postmodern feminism.
    1.2.1 Important debates within the current feminist movement

    Weeks 4/5
    2.1 The construction of the image of women and female role models in the different periods of Spanish history

    Week 6
    2.2 The Franco dictatorship (1939-1975)

    Week 7
    2.3 History of the feminist movement in Spain: the different wavesWeek 8 2.4 Outstanding women (student presentations)

    Weeks 9/10
    3.1 Violence against women.
    3.1.1 Raising awareness: media cases.
    3.1.2 The journey from Domestic violence to gender violence to femicide.

    Week 11
    3.2 Legislation on abortion.
    3.2.1 Changes in legislation
    3.2.2. The role of the Catholic Church.

    Week 12
    3.3 Abolitionists vs. ‘Pro-sex’: the prostitution and pornography debates
    3.3.1.The problem of human trafficking.

    Week 13
    3.4 Intersectional feminism: gender, ethnicity and class.
    3.4.1. Gypsy feminism.

    Week 14
    3.5 Sexist language:
    3.5.1. The official position of the Academy of the Spanish

    Language (RAE) and inclusive language
    Week 15
    3.6 Cyber Feminism: activism on the net.


    • The course is organized as a seminar and active participation is required of the students.
    • Each chapter is presented by the teacher as a lecture. In these lectures the students will learn the keys to critical thinking in the context of this subject.
    • Aside from these lectures, students will deepen their knowledge of the subject with the help of articles, extracts from books, documentaries and movies. In each case, the student will have to fill in a reading guide or viewing guide as part of their coursework and hand it in by the due date.
    • These documents will also give way to debates in the classroom. Students should prepare for these debates by reading the documents and doing the necessary research online beforehand.
    • Attendance to field trips and any other practical activities is also compulsory.
    • Students must also hand in a written essay and carry out an oral presentation:
      • The essay must be based on the student’s preferred topic chosen from a list made public by the teacher. This assignment will include a comparative analysis between Spain and the student’s country of origin from a gender perspective.
      • The oral presentation should be about a woman who is an outstanding figure in the realm of culture, politics, or society in Spain and shall also be chosen from a list given out by the teacher
    • Lastly, the student will have to sit two written examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both of these will require the student to reflect on the contents of a given text and discuss. These tests will show that the student has learned the contents of the course.

    For students interested in having credits recognized at their home university, the final grade for this course is calculated in the following way:

    • Assignments, reading guides, viewing guides: 20%
    • Essay: 20%
    • Oral presentation: 10%
    • Midterm exam: 20%
    • Final exam: 20%
    • In-class participation: 10%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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