Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 1
Module code
FHEQ Level
South East Asia Section

Module overview

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the module a student should have acquired a critical knowledge of a selection of films by South East Asian filmmakers (or by Western filmmakers set in South East Asia) that deal directly with the representation of genders and sexualities in the region. The student will have developed the ability to consider these films critically, from the perspective of international film studies, with reference to film and gender theory, and in terms of the historical and cultural context in which they have been created. Students will have learned how to analyse the films both visually and in terms of their specific contributions to arguments pertaining to the study of genders and sexualities in the region.

In terms of generic skills, students will have had the opportunity to improve their ability to distil information from secondary sources and to collate this information in the composition of one lengthy essay. They will also have learned how to extract and process information from cinematic sources, and to combine their observation of these sources with secondary, background readings and with theoretical texts considered in tutorials. As a result of the emphasis on group discussion of the cinematic texts explored in this module, students will learn how to contribute constructively to debates, how to accommodate the views of others in the learning group and how to present and articulate their own views orally.


A total of 10 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week consisting of 1 hour lecture, 1 hour tutorial and 2 hours film viewing.

Scope and syllabus

The module will examine the key issues pertaining to the representation of genders and sexualities in a selection of films made by South East Asian filmmakers (and in one case a film set in Thailand but made by an Australian filmmaker). the range of countries to which this module refers includes Indonesia, Malaysia, thailand and Vietnam. It may also touch on diasporic cinema. The module will encourage the critical appreciation of the films and their specific treatment of genders and sexualities in South East Asia through weekly film viewings followed by specific lectures on the film under consideration. Separate tutorial sessions each week will be devoted top the discussion of a specific theoretical text relating to the study of gender and students will be encouraged to consider how these theoretical works shed critical light on the films they have viewed.

As a result the content of this module supports and enhances the content of other courses on the MA South East Asian Studies programme together with that focussing on Pacific Asia and the Literatures and Languages of South East Asia. The reflection on cinema locates the module firmly within the remit of the MA programmes dealing with Film and Screen studies while its specific focus on the study of gendered representation renders it of direct relevance to Gender Studies.

Method of assessment

  • 15% Reaction paper, 600 words
  • 15% Podcast or recorded presentation, 5 minutes
  • 70% Essay, 2,500 words
  • Exact deadlines for each assessment are published on the Moodle/BLE module page.

Suggested reading

A comprehensive reading list will be supplied by the convenor at the beginning of the module.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules