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Intersectionality: Critical perspectives on Inequality and Power

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

The course serves as an introduction to the concept of intersectionality and how it has been used as a critical analytic to produce knowledge of the ways in which structural inequality and oppression continues to organize human life. Intersectionality suggests that inequality is never (only) shaped by single axis division, such as gender, but rather that inequality must be understood as the effect of multiple and overlapping axes of division grounded in histories of colonialism and exploitation. Intersectional frameworks emerge from and is indebted to black feminist theory, critical race studies, and in particular the activist labour of black women and women of color. Today intersectionality is both a widely used concept in scholarship, policy making, and activism, and a contested concept, for example, in public debates about feminism, anti-racism, and identity politics in the Nordic countries.

Learning outcome

Learning outcomes
  • Students should acquire knowledge about intersectionality as a theoretical and analytical framework.
  • Students should acquire knowledge of how multiple axes of social division such as gender, race, sexuality, age, class, intersect and how these may be articulated and discussed in complex ways.
  • Students should acquire knowledge of contemporary debates around intersectionality and how the concept is used to promote to social change.

  • Students should be able to analyse and critically discuss intersectionality as a theoretical framework.
  • Students should be able to analyse inequality as the effect of multiple axes of social divison through an intersectional lens.
  • Students should be able to discuss the politics of intersectionality and assess its potentiality for initiating social change.

  • After completing the course, students are expected to be familiar with core texts on intersectionality.
  • After completing the course, students are expected to have acquired theoretical knowledge about intersectionality and use intersectionality as an analytical perspective.
  • After completing the course, students are expected to be able to apply intersectional perspectives in educational and vocational settings as well as their everyday lives.


During the course we will acquire knowledge of how intersectionality emerges from black feminist theory and critical race studies anchored in a US context, but the course will also emphasize and bring forward intersectional knowledge production from Northern European contexts. The class will investigate how intersectional thinking from the onset sought to undo the whiteness of feminist knowledge production, and how intersectionality has travelled across (academic) geographies initiating new discussions of whether these processes have resulted in a depoliticization of the concept. The course is relevant for students who are interested in the theoretical and analytical potentialities of intersectionality in relation to themes such as feminist knowledge production, racism, activism, the legacy of colonialism, reproductive justice, and identity politics.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Recommended previous knowledge



Weight Duration Marks Aid
Digital home-exam1/15 daysA - F
The exam is an digital, individual home-exam (duration 5 days) to be handed in electronically. Students will be asked to write a paper of 2000 words that will be graded A-F.

Coursework requirements

This course requires active participation, and students will be asked to hand in 3 short texts (á 500 words each) during the semester. These texts comprise the compulsory mid-term evaluation, which will receive a pass/fail assessment. Comments to the papers will be given in a plenary session. Students will have to pass this 3-part compulsory assignment in order to qualify for the final exam.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator
Lene Myong

Method of work

The course consists of weekly sessions. These sessions will include lectures, seminars, group work and individual work - adapted to different modes of study. All students are expected to read the syllabus and participate in group discussions and thereby develop analytic reflections in a productive environment with fellow students. This will be done on and off campus and the course coordinator will facilitate a digital learning platform (Canvas). The working language for this course is English.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Intersectionality: critical perspectives on Inequality and Power (GEN560_1) 10

Open to

English Language and Literature - Bachelor's Degree Programme
History - Bachelor's Degree Programme
Journalism - Bachelor's Degree Programme
Nordic Language and Literature - Bachelor's Degree Programme
Admission to Single Courses at Faculty of Arts and Education
Exchange Students at Faculty of Arts and Education
Exchange programmes at Faculty of Health Sciences
Exchange programme at Faculty of Science and Technology
Exchange Students at Faculty of Arts and Education

Course assessment

The course will be assessed every year in line with standard procedures for course evaluation at the Faculty of Social Sciences.


Collins, Patricia Hill and Sirma Bilge (2016) Intersectionality. London and New York: Polity Press
The literature for this course consist of one main book and a collection of articles. Information about the article collection can be found on Canvas before the start of the course. Any changes to the curriculum will be announced on Canvas. The curriculum consists of approximately 700 pages.

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 02.06.2020