KFL4040 – Feminist Theory

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Course content

Feminist theory examines ways feminist scholars have theorized gender and its relation to oppression, inequality and power. But how does gender intersect with class, race, sexuality and nationality – in a historical and global perspective? What is the relationship between feminist theory, everyday experiences and political movements? Can feminist discourses shape social reality, our view on knowledge and on nature? And what is specifically feminist about feminist theory? These questions are all central when we at this course probe feminist theories from a variety of scholarly fields in which discussions on gender differences, critiques of patriarchy and androcentrism, and arguments for cultural, social, political, ontological and epistemological changes are in focus. Thematically, the course will be organized around the following topics: Narratives about feminist theory, early feminist theory, marxist, socialist, liberal, psychoanalytic and radical feminist theory, becoming woman, ecofeminist and care-based feminist theory, postcolonial and multicultural feminist theory, sexualities, queer theory, and postfeminist theory.

Learning outcome

At this course you will gain advanced understanding of theoretical debates about gender and feminism, insight into the historical development, as well as the contemporary status, of feminist theories. You will learn to identify strengths and weaknesses within these theories, and to recognize and classify arguments used to support or reject gender equality. You will acquire knowledge about how theories established within specific disciplines and situations develop and change in an interdisciplinary and political context. You will also learn how to critically analyze the structures and practice of feminist theories. This course will also support the development of more general academic skills, such as critically examining theories from different scholarly fields, analyze and discuss explicit and implicit theoretical assumptions, and to identify problems and possibilities within feminist theories.


By the end of the course, the student will be able to:


  • Contribute critically and constructively in contemporary discussions on challenges related to feminism and gender equality
  • Create dialogues and comparisons between different branches of feminist theorizing, an ability which is important for the application of critical and independent thinking on gender in different professional and political contexts
  • Improve skills of argumentations and critical thinking
  • Critically analyze, understand and summarize theoretical texts
  • Develop skills to handle theoretical topics orally and in written communication, at a level appropriate for a Master student.
  • Acquire perspectives useful for the understanding of existing work in your own discipline and in an interdisciplinary context, and to use feminist analyses of gender relations in conducting research and the writing of MA thesis.
  • Discern how the various shades of feminist theory is embedded in discipline-specific gender-critical scholarship
  • Account for the historical emergence and development of feminist theory
  • Account for the impact of location on feminist theory



Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Right to study at the Master´s level. For international applicants: For further information about admission requirements and admission procedures for international applicants, please see our website admission to the University of Oslo.

Recommended previous knowledge

General knowledge of feminist theory is recommended. (for instance KFL1010 and KFL1020) or similar knowledge.


The course consist of 10 classes of 3 hours of teaching during the autumn semester. The teaching includes lectures and student activities.



In order to take the exam, students must have completed the following requirements:


*             One mandatory oral presentation (15 minutes). A written Version (2-3 pages) of the presentation must be submitted in Canvas no later than a week after the presentation is given in class.

*             The presentation must be approved.


The exam will consist of: a semester assignment to be submitted at the end of the course. The assignment must have a length of 10 pages, (450 words per page total 4500 words +/- 10% (not counting spaces) references and front page in addition).

Marking scale KFL4040

Examinations in Inspera

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Language of examination: English

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language