Law326 module guide 2010 11


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Law and Sexuality undergraduate module (course) guide.

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Law326 module guide 2010 11

  1. 1. Law and Sexuality 2010/11 LAW326 Module Guide
  2. 2. Module Leader: Chris Ashford LAW & SEXUALITY Welcome to Law & Sexuality. The module seeks to explore contemporary theories of sexuality and to undertake a selective investigation of the ways in which sexuality has been posed and addressed as a problem in law through socio-legal analysis. Unlike many of the modules you will have studied to date, this module will be taught over twelve workshops and a field trip to Newcastle with the possibility of trips to Manchester and San Francisco. The emphasis of each workshop is on interaction and jointly exploring ideas. You are encouraged to come having researched a topic, with questions and opinions to share and explore with the wider group. The field trips will allow you to apply knowledge to the wider community in which you inhabit and explore academic concepts through physical space. The subjects of sex and sexuality can often make people feel a little uncomfortable and you will be explored to sexual imagery and themes throughout this course. All views are welcomed and within the space of the workshop whilst respectful debate is encouraged and required. The question that many people ask at the start of a module is ‘how much work are we expected to do on this subject?’ Or, even more difficult, ‘how much time should we spend on this subject each week?’ We can’t tell you how long it will take you to acquire understanding of the subject. We can offer some general advice: be selective in your reading; take notes which are notes, and not a copious copying-out of whole chapters of books. But only you know when you feel you have grasped the subject matter. If you find yourself completely bemused by what’s going on in classes, it may be that you are not doing enough reading. On the other hand, if you feel confident that you can understand and cope with class discussions you are probably doing enough. Most importantly, don’t forget that we’re here to help and support you so please send me an email or drop by my office if you are struggling and want to have a chat. Similarly, if you want to talk further about the ideas and themes in workshops I’m always enthusiastic to carry on our discussions over a coffee at the end of a workshop. I hope you enjoy the module. Chris Ashford Room RV216b Reg Vardy Building, Faculty of Business and Law 2
  3. 3. WORKSHOP SCHEDULE 20010/11 There are no pre-written tasks/questions for you to prepare prior to a workshop. However, you are expected to have read the recommended reading and be prepared to engage in discussions drawing upon, and citing where appropriate that material and relevant law. On occasion, you may also be required to prepare for a debate or a piece of drama/performance. Where this is the case you will be told in a prior workshop. The table below is intended to give you a guide as to the order of topics to be covered however the pace and exact content will evolve and flow according to the direction of the group in workshops. Workshop Number SUBJECT SUMMARY 1 Introduction to the Module; Finding Material; Constructing Sexuality and introduction to theory You will be introduced to the structure, philosophy and content of the module. 2 Queer Theory and Queer Space This workshop introduces the material that will underpin the module. 3 Queer Space and the North East: Newcastle Field Trip The Newcastle meeting location will be agreed in the previous workshop and details posted on SunSpace. You should come wearing comfy shoes and be prepared to walk gently for around two hours. You will be provided with handouts at the start of the field trip so you should bring something to carry them in. 4 Identity Politics, Safety and Queer Space This workshop reflects on the previous workshops and the field trips and will also involve some performance.. 5 Visual Representation of Sex and the Sex Wars: The Porn Workshop This workshop introduces porn, its legal regulation and theoretical approaches to porn. It will include pornographic images and movies. 6 Beyond ‘On Me, Not in Me’: Bareback Sex and the Quest for “Truth”. This workshop builds on the previous workshop and explores the bareback phenomenon. 7 The Quest for Hope: From Castro to Hollywood via the Court House – Historical perspectives on Legal This workshop will include drama performance from Emily Mann’s play ‘Execution of Justice’. You will be 3
  4. 4. Responses to (Homo)sexuality allocated roles in the previous workshop. 8 Selling Sex: Identities, Sex Work and Prostitution This workshop explores the phenomenon and legal regulation of sex work/prostitution. 9 “I wanna Be Just Like You”: Same Sex Marriage and the Queer Debate One the most dominant debates in recent law and sexuality discourse is the subject of gay marriage. This workshop explores the gay marriage debate. 10 Gender and the Law The module shifts its focus to gender and law in this workshop, exploring concepts such as ‘gender fuck’. 11 Paedophilia, Inter-generational Sex and Man/Boy Love This workshop draws together much of the theory that has been explored during the module to examine what it perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of sexuality. 12 Module wrap up A space and opportunity to ‘trouble- shoot’ any outstanding issues on the module. READING LIST ESSENTIAL READING There is no single recommended purchase for the course but three books will be of particular use. These are all available in electronic format so everyone can access the texts for free via the library catalogue page: The texts are: Les Moran (1996) The Homosexual(ity) of Law. Martha Albertson Fineman et al (eds) (2009) Feminist and Queer Legal Theory. Vanessa Munro and Carl Stychin (eds) (2007) Sexuality and the Law. There are also limited numbers of hardcopies in the library. You can of course purchase the texts if you so wish from the usual bookstores. You should expect to pay between £25 and £30 for each text. The module has its own page on Facebook which you are encouraged to join so you can take part in discussions and exchange information. The group is called LAW326 Law and Sexuality Module Page Chris tweets via primarily on issues relating to law and sexuality but also general random thoughts. 4
  5. 5. The module is also supported by a blog available at The blog has a search box at the top of the screen allowing you to search for a range of text, audio and video resources. There is also the opportunity to add your own comments. These can be done in a name, alias or anonymously. The blog also has links to other resources. You are urged to check the blog regularly. The blog also integrates Twitter and Audioboo and these links can also be found on SunSpace. The blog also includes an extensive list of links to other resources. FURTHER READING/READING FOR WORKSHOPS There is an expectation that in advance of a workshop you will read relevant materials (the broad area will be set out in the pre-ceding workshop). You should then consult a range of books and journals to explore that area. The library catalogue will be invaluable in locating these materials. Putting in terms such as ‘sexuality law’, and ‘sex law’ in keywords will bring up a host of the more general Law and Sexuality texts. Many of which are available as e-books and most are at the St Peter’s Campus. Other more specific subjects such as sex work/prostitution will also have various materials but many of these will be at Murray Library. If you don’t want to travel to Murray, the book will be brought over and be available to pick up from St Peter’s if you sue the ‘reservation’ service. You also have access to every book that has been published via Inter-library loans. Forms are in the library and you should allow some time (typically 1-2 weeks) for the book to arrive. Journals are also vitally important. In addition to Lexis and Westlaw you should also familiarise yourself with Sage, EBSCO, JSTOR, Ingenta and Emerald via You may prefer to use the library’s e-journal database but please make sure you’re logged in to my.sunderland first otherwise it won’t search all the databases. You’ll be using a lot of journals that you might not have encountered previously – particularly the journal Sexualities. Hard copies of this journal are also located in St Peter’s Library. You also have access to the specialist journal Law & Sexuality through Heinonline (which can be accessed from the law subject resources library page). If you’re struggling to find material on the subject don’t forget you can also consult with the Law Subject Librarian (just ask at the St Peter’s library desk). ADDITIONAL MEDIA You will also benefit from a viewing a range of films and tv shows as part of your programme of study. You are particularly encouraged to view the mini series ‘Angels in America’ (based on the Tony Kushner play), the film ‘Milk’ and the UK series ‘Queer as Folk’. Queer as Folk UK is now available for free on 4OD: 4OD also features a series of documentaries that will be of interest. Videos are also linked to on SunSpace and within the blog. 5
  6. 6. DRAMA AND PERFORMANCE Workshop 4 will involve some of you performing parts from Nicholas de Jongh’s play ‘Plague Over England’ which chronicles the John Gielgud arrest ‘scandal’. Workshop 7 will include you taking on roles from the play ‘The Execution of Justice’. Exerts are provided at the end of this guide but if you would like to read the full play, it is available through most book shops in wider collections of Emily Mann’s writing (the play on it’s own is available on it’s own from some second hand book sellers but it’s expensive!). Extracts for ‘Plague Over England’ will also be provided but the full play is harder tog et hold of due to it’s recent publication. Copies can be bought via We will re-create key moments of the dramatisation of the Dan White trial and you are encouraged to dress in role and approach it very much as a performance. You can find out more about White by watching the film Milk. FIELD TRIPS MANCHESTER FIELD TRIP There will be a visit to Manchester arranged for the October reading week. Details of the cost (typically £60-£80) will be announced in the first workshop. The trip offers a practical opportunity to explore the theoretical ideas of ‘queer space’ and ‘performativity’ over this two day visit focused around Canal Street. You will undertake a walking tour around the city centre examining history and key socio-legal issues. There will be extensive time for you to plan your own social activities and details of various bars and clubs (straight/gay/mixed) and alternative venues will be provided. SAN FRANCISCO FIELD TRIP There will also be an opportunity to explore some of the Manchester themes in more depth in a trip to San Francisco. The trip will include flights, accommodation and a tour to explore the Castro district, the history behind Harvey Milk, the SOMA leather/sexual deviant space and a range of other relevant sites. Previous years have included a visit to the GLBT Society and taken part in a workshop at the University of San Francisco. There will also be lots of time to explore the city and its famous sights from the Golden Gate Bridge through to that icon of penology - Alcatraz. You can read more about the LGBT aspects of San Francisco at: The site also links to more general information about the site. A number of guidebooks in the Time Out, Lonely Planet, Eyewitness and Rough Guide are available from most bookshops for 6
  7. 7. around £10. Specialist gay guides such as the Spartacus guide are also available. Reading the Tales of the City novel series by Armistead Maupin may give you a feel for the city (they begin in the 1970s and progress through the following decades in several installments). NEWCASTLE FIELD TRIP Don’t worry if you can’t afford San Francisco or Manchester. We will be taking one field trip over to Newcastle city centre in a scheduled workshop. This will enable you to explore the Pink Triangle in Newcastle together with other queer space locations. As with San Francisco and Manchester you will be using research that has focused upon Newcastle as part of the module and this is an opportunity to get a feel for the space being discussed. FEEDBACK In addition to the usual end of module feedback questionnaire, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback throughout the module via minute papers. These will be provided in workshops (typically 2 or 3 times during the module) in order to evaluate how you are progressing with the module and what your concerns are, along with discovering what’s working well on the module. Feedback responses are published on SunSpace and you can view previous years responses from the same point in the module to find out how your experience compares with that of previous cohorts. SUNSPACE This course will be supported throughout by SunSpace. Additional course materials, including PowerPoint slides, handouts and so no will be available along with multimedia materials as appropriate. You are urged to regularly log on! 7
  8. 8. IMPORTANT WARNING The Internet: As part of the course you will inevitably make extensive use of the Internet as a research tool. However you will be dealing with very sensitive subjects. You should note that the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 criminalises the possession of ‘violent pornography’ for the first time and some of the material you may encounter in casual searches on the subject of sadomasochism may lead you to such material so be sensible in your searches and if in doubt, leave it out. Similarly, the subject of inter-generational sex and paedophilia will lead to obvious sites that you should avoid. Your ISP will be recorded and you can be individually identified. The USA government regularly monitors traffic to sites such as NAMBLA so you should again avoid such material and stick to academic focused, mainstream material. You should also be aware that in a number of cases have found ‘research’ to be no excuse if found in possession of pornography and should you then save any material you may be also guilty of the more serious offence of distribution. These offences carry significant custodial sentences. ASSESSMENT There will be two essay assignments for this module. Each should be no more than 2,500 words. One assignment will be released in the first term with submission due after the winter vacation. The second will be made available in January and should be submitted before the spring vacation. Details of deadlines, submission standards and the questions will be made available on SunSpace and you will be notified in workshops. Current university regulations can be viewed at: A feedback/criteria sheet follows. You should consider this when completing your assignments. 8
  9. 9. TITLE: LAW AND SEXUALITY CODE: LAW326 CREDITS: 20 LEVEL: 3 FACULTY: Business and Law MODULE BOARD: LAW PRE/CO-REQUISITES: None LEARNING HOURS: 200 hours, including 36 contact hours the exact nature of which is specified in the module guide. LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to: Knowledge 1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of law and sexuality in a moral, ethical and socio-legal context. Skills 2. Undertake independent research in the area of law and sexuality. 3. Produce a synthesis of relevant doctrine and policy issues from a variety of materials. 4. Express with reasons, personal judgments concerning the concepts and values involved in the study of law and sexuality and critically evaluate key issues. CONTENT SYNOPSIS This module will seek to explore contemporary theories of sexuality and to undertake a selective investigation of the ways in which sexuality has been posed and addressed as a problem in law through socio-legal analysis. TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS: This module will be delivered through a combination of workshops, field studies and independent study. The field trips will involve visits to both Sunderland and Newcastle city centres in order to seek to understand the operation of ‘queer space’. There will also be an opportunity to visit San Francisco. The workshops will make use of a variety of teaching approaches including didactic delivery, drama performance, formal debates and group discussion. Use will also be made of audio media in some workshops. SunSpace will also be used to support teaching and learning throughout the module. Workshops 10 x 3 hours = 30 hours Field trips: 2 x 3 hours = 6 hours Directed/Self-Directed study = 164 hours This will include directed reading, preparation for seminars and work on assessments ASSESSMENT METHODS There are two individual written assignments of 2,500 words each which assess all learning outcomes. Both assignments assess all learning outcomes. Sequence Assessment Type Marking Scheme Weighting % Qualifying Mark Pass Mark 001 Individual Coursework UCMS 50 1% 40% 002 Individual Coursework UCMS 50 1% 40% INDICATIVE READING LIST Bray, A (1982) Homosexuality in Renaissance England, Gay Men’s Press Burton, P (1995) Amongst the Aliens: Some Aspects of a Gay Life, Millivres Books Califia, P (1994) Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex, Cleis Press
  10. 10. Crane, P (1982) Gays and the Law, Pluto Press Devlin, P (1965) The Enforcement of Morals, OUP Foucoult, M (1981) The History of Sexuality, Vol 1: An Introduction, Routledge Goodman, J (1995) The Oscar Wilde File, Allison and Busby Hallam, P (1993) The Book of Sodom, Verso Humphreys, L (2005) Tearoom trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places, Aldine Transaction Leap, W.L. (1999) Public Sex: Gay Space, Columbia University Press Moran, L.J (1996) The Homosexual(ity) of Law, Routledge Moran, L. and Skeggs, B (2004) Sexuality and the Politics of Violence and Safety, Routledge Newburn, T (1992) Permission and Regulation: Law and Morals in Post-war Britain, Routledge. Norton, R (1992) Mother Clap’s Molly House: The Gay Subculture in England 1700-1830, Gay Men’s Press Sinfield, A (1994) The Wilde Century, Cassell Smith, B.R (1991) Homosexual Desire in Shakespeare’s England: A Cultural Poetics, University of Chicago Press Thompson, B (1995) Sadomasochism, Cassell Weeks, J (1989) Sex, Politics and Society, 2nd Edition, Longman. Weeks, J et al (2002) Sexualities and Society: A Reader, Polity Press Whittle, S (1994) The Margins of the City: Gay Men’s Urban Lives, Arena Wildeblood, P (1999) Against the Law, Weidenfield & Nicolson Wintemute, R (1995) Sexual Orientation and Human Rights, Clarendon Press PROGRAMMES USING THIS MODULE AS CORE/OPTION: LLB (Hons) – Option CSP Dual and Minor – Option BA Business Law (Top-Up) – Option IS THE PROGRAMME DELIVERED ON OR OFF CAMPUS: LLB Level 1: On and Off Campus LLB Level 2/3: On Campus Only BA Business Law (Top-Up): On Campus Only CSP: On campus only WORK BASED LEARNING: No PRFOESSIONAL ACCREDITATION: Yes – at LLB Programme level Joint Academic Stage Board (representing the Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority and the Bar Standards Board) MODULE LEADERChris Ashford Room 216b Reg Vardy Centre Ext. 2312 LEAD DELIVERER Chris Ashford JACS Code: M200 11