Monday, 14 September 2009

2009/10 Academic Year: Welcome

With the start of the new academic year looming, this post seeks to introduce this blog and the other social networking services that are available to you as a student of LAW326, Law and Sexuality or on LAWM28, Gender, Sexuality and Law. I’ve also produced an audio recording of this blog post that you can listen to at the end of this post if you’d rather listen than read.



As you will perhaps recall from the options fair, the module, like most modules at level 3 is taught over three hour workshops once a fortnight. Perhaps unlike other level three modules, there are no fixed questions for you to prepare in advance of a workshop but you are expected to discover online and text based literature for yourself and that work will then inform our workshop discussions. It’s hard work but will hopefully be fun and enlightening. That said, don’t panic, I’ll give you lots of guidance on where to begin and how to go about finding and using material.


In workshops I’ll outline core material, but the emphasis will be on debate and discussion. Sometimes we’ll be doing group or interactive activities, and at other times we’ll be looking at video and other multimedia. Along with these ‘classroom’ based activities, we’ll be getting out into the ‘real world’ through a number of field trips that enable us to consider the literature you’ll be encountering in the places that they were produced.

Within the first few weeks we’ll meet up in Newcastle and take a quick queer space walkabout. A few weeks later, there will be an opportunity to head over to Manchester for a similar, but extended field trip. We’ll hire a mini bus and head down for a two-day visit. During the first day we have a walkabout through Canal Street and a further area, north of Piccadilly. We’ll also take a general walk through the city so pack comfortable shoes! In the evening, there will be an opportunity to socialise and reflect on the day. You can then do your own thing or I can take small groups for a look at Canal Street by night.

In February next year, there will be a chance to head over to San Francisco. More details will be
given in the first workshop. We head over for about a week and take a look at variety of LGBTQ linked events and activities, as well as giving you an opportunity to explore this amazing city. You can find photos of all previous field trips by clicking the Picasa logo on the right hand side of this blog.


The assessment is two individual 2,500 word essays. One completed in each semester. The essays will seek to link multiple topics together and apply theory (feminism, queer, postmodernism) to a specific ‘issue’ so there is no ‘magic’ workshop to attend that will give you all the answers. It’s more a sort of jigsaw that emerges, so attendance at workshops and full participation will, as I’m sure you realise by now, enable you to achieve the results you want and deserve.


You’re reading the blog so you’re already well ahead. This blog will provide longer reflections on developments, pictures, video and additional support to the course. There are also links to additional sources of information down the right hand side. The search bar on the top right enables you to search the blog archive for specific material – and the blog is now in its third year so there’s lots of info on here.

On SunSpace you’ll find all the PowerPoint Slides, interactive exercises and further info and videos. You’ll also see links to Twitter, Facebook, Audioboo and this blog. Twitter consists of links to interesting news stories, quick thoughts and so on. If you’re on Twitter, why not follow me? New blog posts will also be automatically fed to twitter. If you’d rather add me on Facebook, where blog posts will also be fed, feel free to add me. Finally, Audioboo which are simply short audio posts will be used from time to time, usually embedded into the blog or linked via Twitter. Assessment feedback will be provided by Audioboo along with other thoughts, and reflections. You can subscribe to my Audioboo in iTunes so they will automatically be downloaded to your ITunes account. Just lick the audioboo link in Sunspace. This may seem like a bewildering array of different technologies and platforms – use whatever works best for you.


Well if you’re one of the eager beavers, you can take a look at the course text – Les Moran’s Homosexuality of Law. It’s probably pretty hard going the first time you take a look, but don’t worry, it will come together as the course progresses. You may also want to take a look at the work of Judith Butler, Eve Sedgwick and Michel Foucault. You may find introductory guides to these authors ideas useful and more accessible. You’ll also see an earlier blog post gives some guidance on films and TV to take a look at.

In addition, you can also spend some time searching through this blog. There’s lots of video and some documentaries available on here. There’s also lots of links to sites that will be useful for your study. Take some time to familiarise yourself with them and explore! You’ll also be using ATHENS databases you might not have used before. As well as LexisNexis and Westlaw, you’ll find databases such as Sage, Ebsco and Emerald of use as you progress through he module. Log into and have a play. Use the time now to explore – there’s probably a lot more literature available to you than you ever imagined. You’ll have less time to explore when the module is in full swing and assessment deadlines are on the horizon.

Also take some time to head over to the Murray Library at City Campus. There are useful journals and lots of sociology/sexuality/theory books on the top floor. Have a browse and if something looks/sounds interesting, take a closer look.

I’m really looking forward to exploring the subject of law and sexuality with you and I’ll see you all real soon.







For those of you who studies LAW326 last year, you can expect a module that builds on your knowledge, rather than one that simply repeats information previous covered. If you didn't do LAW326, don't worry, I'll make sure you get the support to ensure you quickly grasp some of the more difficult concepts.

In all cases, the above advice on what you could be doing in advance of workshops and the guidance on the social networking tools should be read as these are also applicable to you. In the workshops will be three hours, once a week, every week during the first term. There will also be an opportunity to take part in a field trip to Manchester.

The assessment will be one 5,000 individual written assignment. There is an audio introduction to LAWM28 below.



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