Drawing upon the course material as explained below, write an encyclopedia/ history textbook entry explaining how ideas/assumptions about gender and sexuality in shaping colonialism, and how colonialism shaped issues related to gender and sexuality. In addressing the question, you are expected to I. Provide an overview of Western feminism during colonial times. II. Choose between hijras in India and female circumcision in Kenya and other parts of Africa to provide illustrative examples of a specific gender/sexuality issue during the colonial period and in current times. (Encyclopedia or history textbook entry).

Breaking down the Question

® Devote roughly a page to each component below.

1). What ideas and assumptions about gender and sexuality shaped colonialism, and why and how did they do so?

2). Explain the role played by British feminists during the colonial period.

3). How did British colonizers try to regulate and control issues related to gender and sexuality in the colonies?

4). How did the groups, communities, or nations affected by colonial policies on gender and sexuality respond to these forms of regulation?

5). What is the current situation of the groups previously affected by these colonial policies, now living in postcolonial nations? Explore the current contours of the issue (either hijras in India or female circumcision in Kenya/other parts of Africa).


  • Assigned academic texts from the syllabus.
  • Lectures: Nov. 5, 7, and 12.
  • All students are expected to refer to the article by Antoinette Burton.
  • All students are expected to refer to either Pederson or Hinchy (depending on which issue you choose).

® Summarize the authors’ main ideas by effective use of paraphrasing, and demonstrate your own understanding of the keywords.

  • All students are expected to refer to refer to the Nov. 5 Lecture.
  • All students are expected to refer to refer to either the Nov. 7 Lecture or the Nov. 12 Lecture (depending on which issue you choose).

® Draw upon information, videos, and ideas presented in lecture (with references to the sources cited in lecture).

® Your papers should include discussion of at least one additional author used in lecture (apart from the assigned ones) and one video. That is the minimum requirement, but you are encouraged to use more.

® Videos screened in class will be linked on the lecture slides if you need to watch them again while writing your assignment.

Important Note on Sources.

® The description of this Assignment on the syllabus indicated that you would be asked to refer to additional articles (apart from the syllabus). I am making this assignment easier on you by removing that requirement. Instead, pay attention during lectures to the additional information provided on the topic, and use that in your assignment.

How to Write this Assignment

® You can structure your paragraphs by answering the questions as delineated above. Note: Unlike Assignment 2, DO follow the specific order of the questions as broken down above..

® Please look at the genre example of an encyclopedia or textbook entry for this Assignment posted on Canvas. Your assignment should be structured along the lines of this piece. Note: Though I posted this example for Assignment 3 because it addresses the same topic, the genre is the same as Assignment 2, so you may follow any of those genre examples too.

® Remember the genre. This is not an exam. Do not answer the questions in Q and A format, but rather, integrate them into the encyclopedia or textbook entry you are writing here. Remember your transitions between paragraphs.

® Draw upon the course reading as indicated under “Sources.”

® Draw upon information, videos, and ideas presented in lecture (with references to the sources cited in lecture) to provide illustrative examples, either as blurbs or as part of how you answer these questions.

® Keep in mind that the purpose of this assignment is different from Assignment 1. This assignment is about the course material, your engagement with it, and your analysis drawing upon it. Unlike Assignment 1, it is not about you. Analyze the course material and explain the different perspectives in the form of an encyclopedia or textbook entry rather than your opinions.

® This assignment is similar to Assignment 2 but also somewhat different from it. Assignment 2 focused on the concept of agency in the context of veiling. In Assignment 3, you will explain the historical context of gender and colonialism and provide updates to the contemporary manifestation of the issues. You do need to explain concepts such as colonial feminism, hijra, FGM, etc. But you will weave those conceptual explanations into your main discussion of the historical and contemporary contexts relating to gender and colonialism. Examples should be used all through –to illustrate the historical and contemporary contexts.

Purpose of this assignment

  • Demonstrate that you have paid attention in class and understood the course material.
  • Summarize and Synthesize the concepts, historical developments, and debates covered in class, and in the assigned reading.
  • Explain these concepts, debates, and events through illustrative examples and connect them to current events.
  • Address the question in the prescribed genre (Encyclopedia/Textbook Entry).

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