Introduction: the broader context of the project


This teaching resource presents a variety of material that represents voices, experiences, and conceptualisations of gender from various structural and geographical locations. As many scholars have pointed out, there is much pedagogical value in presenting students with the opportunity to ‘hear directly” from those they study, rather than through narratives of others. Narratives, often present a risk of generalization and prevents us from seeing the complexities of human situations. Even when generalizations are unavoidable, it is critical that we understand the limitations they impose on our knowledge. This concern is particularly important for teaching about the Global South and about people who are marginalized. We are often quick to see them as ‘victims’ rather than actors. How do we understand the complex nature of their lives, oppressions, challenges and responses?

Given all the problems of language, access, distance, is it still possible to devise a curriculum where these different knowledges and perspectives are brought together in a meaningful way? Are there substantial gains to be made from such integration? How would it impact the policy and practice of development?

These are some of the questions which motivate the current project. It presents material produced primarily (but not only) in the South. At this time, we have a substantial part of the material in Spanish and we are aware that this presents significant challenges for teaching. We have presented some ideas as to how this material can be used to overcome such challenges.

This resource, as it stands now, is not a stand-alone tool, but is intended to assist those interested in developing courses for various audiences. The material you will find here will need to be put within the framework of more theoretical discussions as relevant to the topic and the audience. You can also visit HDRNet for more material on related themes.

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