Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Geography


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Any Level 2 BA Geography Module


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of feminist geographies and the place of feminism and feminist theory within geography and related social sciences.
  • To evaluate the breadth and form of feminist geographical research drawn from the Global North and Global South across a range of key themes related to the study of the intimacies, including space, ‘the body’, caring, violence, geopolitics, climate change, environmental politics, futurity and the transnational.
  • To engage critically with key debates in contemporary feminist geography and related social sciences in seminar and workshop settings.
  • To develop feminist informed critical thinking skills in relation to academic and non-academic sources through the completion of a feminist geographies research diary.


  • Increasingly, feminist geographers are turning to the concept of ‘intimacy’ to perform the work of connecting seemingly disconnected spaces and theories, and taking apart those that are implied to be self-contained. Intimacy performs work central to feminist geographical thinking, facilitating the critical assessment of the assumptions implicit within disciplinary frameworks and concepts by disaggregating spatial and scalar perspectives used within geography, and challenging the use of binary spatial thinking, such as public/ private, global/ local, and macro/ micro, for being masculinist, disembodied, and essentialist. Intimacy is a concept that opens up the space for feminist geographical analyses that situates global processes like globalization, nationhood, climate change, neo-colonialism, and capitalism within spheres of life related to materiality, ‘nature’ emotions, relationships, and the biopolitical. In short, feminist geographies of intimacy illuminate the connectedness and blending of spaces and scales within people’s lived, embodied and emotional experiences.
  • This module will seek to develop an understanding of feminist geographies of intimacy across the three themes of ‘space’, ‘bodies’ and ‘environments’. In so doing, a range of theoretical work, research case studies and examples drawn from non-academic sources will be explored which will focus specifically on some of the following topics: ‘the everyday’, ‘the home’, mothering, violence, sexuality, geopolitics, political economies, climate change, environmentalism, transnational ties, memory, solidarity, futurity, emotions and affect, migration, friendship, the senses, technologies, toxicity, queer ecologies and social justice movements.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of contemporary feminist geographical research on ‘intimacy’.
  • Critically reflect on a range of concepts and theoretical approaches central to feminist geography research on ‘intimacy’
  • Situate feminist geographical research within key conceptual debates across geography and related social science fields
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Think critically and engage with social and political issues related to intimacy, and the contribution that feminist geographical analysis and related social science understandings could make to understanding and addressing these issues
  • Evaluate and apply key feminist concepts and approaches to contemporary problems and issues
  • Produce writing that engages with key conceptual and substantive debates within feminist geography
  • Produce a group poster that visually represents the relationship between feminist geographical conceptualisations of intimacy and non-academic sources.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate clear and effective academic written communication skills
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect critically on academic and non-academic sources using a feminist approach
  • Demonstrate an ability to synthesise information and to develop an argument in relation to contemporary issues and problems

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Online Lectures. Lectures will be provided online as a means to introduce the field of feminist geographies and provide historical and disciplinary context for the three thematics (i.e. spaces, bodies and environments). They will highlight the main concepts and theories that feminist geographers use to research intimacy and the intimate, and draw on relevant case studies from geographical and wider social science research and non-academic sources. Each lecture will also integrate activities for the students to undertake which are related to the material covered and will help to deepen and extend the student’s knowledge and understanding. This could include watching short videos, analysing images or text and interrogating entries in the feminist geographies diary
  • Online Q and A Sessions: A half hour Q and A session with a member of staff will be provided for each of the lectures. This allows students to ask question about the material and activities presented in each lecture.
  • Online or Face to Face Seminars. Seminars will provide an environment for exploring topic areas in greater depth, and will involve independent and critical thinking in response to pre-circulated articles as well as a variety of learning techniques such as group discussion, presentations, or responses to media examples.
  • Online or Face to Face Summative Poster Presentation Conference. The conference will provide an opportunity for students to present their summatively assessed group posters, based on a topic chosen in advance, and to receive peer and staff feedback on the content and style of the poster as well as to generate and respond to questions on each of the posters.
  • Online or Face to Face Workshop. The workshop will provide an opportunity to connect the ongoing Feminist Geographies Diary project with central course themes as a means to develop the content for the summative assessment. The workshop will involve small group discussion, presentations, or other diverse learning techniques.
  • Formative assessment.
  • (Evaluative written commentary on an example from the Feminist Geographies Diary). The formative assessment will provide students with the opportunity to evaluate an example from their Feminist Geographies Diary in order to explore and experiment with the application of various conceptualisations of ‘intimacy’.
  • Summative assessment.
  • (Group poster presentation) The first summative assessment will draw on students’ abilities to synthesize concepts and theories present within feminist geographies of intimacy, critically reflect on non-academic sources generated from their ongoing feminist geographies diaries, and visually present the information in a clear, accessible, and understandable format. Work within groups and peer assessment of group posters will allow for a wide range of feedback to support the summative assessment.
  • (Evaluative essay on feminist geographies diary) The second summative assessment will require in-depth engagement with concepts and theories from feminist geographical research on intimacy and demonstrate an application of these concepts and theories in a reflexive, self-critical, and personal analysis using examples taken from the feminist geographies diary.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 15 Varies 2 hours 30
Seminars 7 Varies 2 hours 14
Conference (Group poster presentation) 1 Once 2 hours 2
Workshop 1 Once 2 hours 2
Preparation and reading 152
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Group poster presentation Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group poster presentation 100%
Component: Evaluative Essay on Feminist Geographies Diary Component Weighting: 70%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Evaluative Essay on Feminist Geographies Diary 5 pages A4 100%

Formative Assessment:

The formative assessment will be an evaluative written commentary (2 pages) based upon on an example drawn from the Feminist Geographies Diary). The assessment will provide students with the opportunity to evaluate an example from their Feminist Geographies Diary in order to explore and experiment with the application of various conceptualisations of ‘intimacy’.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University