Undergraduate course

Music, Gender and Sexuality

  • ECTS credits15
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeMVK210
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Teaching semester


Place of Instruction


Objectives and Content

Gender and sexuality - linked, though distinct - exist within and are productive of a complex matrix of social and biological "facts" and discourses. This course will introduce and examine the ways in which musics and musical discourses are implicated in the constructions of genders and sexualities. It will also consider the connections between such constructions and specifically affective forms of expressive culture. We will examine these issues through theoretical (sometimes ethnographically or sociologically based) texts, as well as audio/visual materials. Although much of the focus will be on mass-mediated "popular" music of approximately the last century, coming from the industrialized West, we will also engage musics from other historical and geographical locations.

Learning Outcomes

Students who have completed the course will:

  • have a solid knowledge of several foundational theoretical texts devoted to the critical examination of gender and sexuality
  • have competence in using seminal and contemporary texts in gender and sexuality studies in the critical examination of musics and musical practices
  • gain a broad knowledge of numerous styles and genres of music from varied historical and geographical locations
  • have the skill to independently work with source materials and theoretical texts to examine the ways in which culturally and historically contextualized musics and musical practices are produced by and productive of constructions and discourses of gender and sexuality

Required Previous Knowledge


Access to the Course

The course is open for all students at the University of Bergen.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Attendance at lectures and seminars
  • All instruction is obligatory; absence of more than 20% leads to loss of right to take the exam
  • All mandatory instruction must be completed and approved before the exam
  • 4-5 short reading responses spaced throughout the semester (200-300 words each) to be turned in before the lectures associated with those readings (godkjent/ikke godkjent)
  • One end-of-semester presentation related to student's term paper (godkjent/ikke godkjent)
  • Approved obligatory activities are valid for 2 semesters after they are completed

Forms of Assessment

Assignment portfolio (mappevurdering) with two assignments:

  • One short written mid-term assignment (1000 words, +/-) based upon the course readings assigned during the first half of the course (25% of grade)
  • Term paper of ca. 4000-5000 words. This paper will focus on a specific work, corpus of works, genre/style, and/or theoretical question relevant to the course, and must exhibit that the student has been able to a) formulate a valid research question; b) find appropriate academic literature and enlist a relevant theoretical focus to support her/his thesis; and c) correctly and convincingly contextualize her/his analysis with respect to historical and sociocultural variables (75% of grade)

In order to pass the course, both assignments must be completed with a passing grade. The mid-term and final papers will be written in English.

Internal evaluation with at least two examiners.

Grading Scale

Letter grade from A to F.

Assessment Semester


Reading List

Approx. 800 pages of core curriculum, as well as audiovisual examples as course readings, with an additional 200 pages, chosen by the student in consultation with the teacher, related to student's final research paper.

Course Evaluation

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the quality assurance system guidelines for the University of Bergen.


The Grieg Academy - Department of Music


Contact Information


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Portfolio assessment

    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam
    • Exam part: Part 1

      Submission deadline
      01.03.2018, 15:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Part 2

      Submission deadline
      01.03.2018, 15:00
      Examination system
      Digital exam