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This module will focus on providing students with a broad historical context to understand the concept of gender and history, examining historical studies of men and women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Britain and Ireland. Given the intertwined history of these islands, many of the topics incorporate legislation that was enacted in both jurisdictions. The course includes a critical examination of parliamentary debates and legislation, as well as the theoretical literature that has drawn attention to the different roles men and women had in the modern period. The course covers some key issues in political, legislative and social history, from the education of women, to prostitution and homosexuality. We also cover the critical social movements of the period that revolved around gender – including the campaigns for women’s right to vote and own property on an equal basis in the nineteenth century, to the campaigns regarding equal pay, contraception and women’s legal status in the twentieth century. Issues of masculinity, femininity and gender norms are interrogated as they have been understood historically and contemporarily. Important writers of each period will be examined, giving students a chance to reflect on both primary and secondary sources relating to each theme.