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An Introduction to Feminist Literary Theory

Course Code
Study mode
Start Date
To be advised
18 hours
Course Fee
How to Apply


What is feminist literary theory? Why is it important to the study of literature?  This course aims to introduce some of the rudiments of feminist literary theory, its development, and application to criticism. To facilitate discussion of the theories by various feminists and thinkers, relevant literary texts will be studied and examined with a focus on their impact and legacy.

Programme Details

Course Schedule:

1.    The “Waves” of Feminism. Feminism and gender as issues in literature
•    Feminism in the modern period: Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women
•    Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (excerpts)
•    Second Wave: Betty Friedan, “The Problem with No Name”
•    Third Wave: Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth (excerpts) 
•    Gilber and Gubar, “The Madwoman in the Attic”

2.    Virginia Woolf and her legacy
•    A Room of One’s Own, Three Guineas, Orlando
•    Gender performativity 

3.    French Feminism
•    Michel Foucault, Herculine Barbin
•    Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (excerpts)
•    Julia Kristeva and the semiotic (or pre-oedipal)

4.    French Feminism continued: 
•    Luce Irigaray, “This Sex Which Is Not One”
•    Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born A Woman”
•    Hélène Cixous and écriture féminine 

5.    Feminist Critique of Psychoanalysis
•    The Freudian Riddle of Femininity
•    Lacanian theory
•    Nancy Chodorow; Jessica Benjamin; Judith Butler 

6.    Literary texts in the Second and Third Waves of Feminism
•    Ann Koedt, “The Myth of Vaginal Orgasm”
•    Germaine Greer, “The Wicked Womb”
•    Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues
•    Judith Halberstam, “An Introduction to Female Masculinity”

Target Students

Bachelor degree graduates, preferably in the humanities

About the teacher

Dr. Anita Chi-Kwan Lee has an interdisciplinary background in both her work and studies, which cover several disciplines that range from English language and literature, literary and cultural theory, film and visual arts media, gender and sexuality to both qualitative and quantitative research. Her PhD thesis was an intertextual and psychoanalytic analysis on the works of Virginia Woolf. Anita very much enjoys crossing over disciplines, teaching across curricula, and collaborating with faculty both within and outside campus.

While Anita has taught gender and queer theory courses at both HKU and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, she has also taught various English literature courses since 2006 at HKU’s School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE), and media appreciation courses at both the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Being both an academic researcher and media industry practitioner, her professional experience in the media was previously gained in service with the Radio Television Hong Kong, Television Broadcasts Limited, and Edko Films Ltd., in their different departments of production, programme, and film advertising and promotion. 

  • 6 session(s)
  • 3 hours per session

Teacher Information

Dr Anita CK Lee, BSocSc HKBU; MA, PhD HKU


Course Fee
  • Course Fee : HK$3,700

Entry Requirements

Bachelor degree graduates or at least final year senior students; English proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.5


Application Form Download Application Form

Enrolment Method
Online Application

We provide online application and payment service for students to make enrolment via the Internet. Enrolment will be confirmed once students have made the payment online by using either PPS or credit card.

By Post / In Person

Applicants are required to complete the Application for Enrolment Form SF26.  Either take or post the completed form, along with the appropriate course fee and supporting documents, to any of the HKU SPACE enrolment centres.

Payment Method

Course fees can be paid by cash, EPS, WeChat Pay or Alipay at any HKU SPACE Enrolment Centres.


Course fees can also be paid by crossed cheque or bank draft made payable to “HKU SPACE”. Please specify the programme title(s) for application and applicant’s name. You may either:

  • bring the completed form(s), together with the appropriate course or application fees in the form of a cheque, and any required supporting documents to any of the HKU SPACE enrolment centres;
  • or mail the above documents to any of the HKU SPACE Enrolment Centres, specifying “Course Application” on the envelope. HKU SPACE will not be responsible for any loss of payment sent by mail.

Applicants may also pay the course fee by VISA or MasterCard, including the “HKU SPACE MasterCard”, at any HKU SPACE enrolment centres. Holders of the HKU SPACE MasterCard can enjoy a 10-month interest-free instalment period for courses with a tuition fee worth a minimum of HK$2,000; however, the course applicant must also be the cardholder himself/herself. For enquiries, please contact our staff at any enrolment centres.


The course fees of all open admission courses (course enrolled on first come, first served basis) and selected award-bearing programmes can be settled by using PPS via the Internet. Applicants may also pay the relevant course fees by VISA or MasterCard online. Please refer to Enrolment Methods - Online Enrolment  for details.


  • For general and short courses, applicants may be required to pay the course fee in cash or by EPS, WeChat Pay, Visa or MasterCard if the course is to start shortly.
  • Fees paid are not refundable except under very exceptional circumstances (e.g. course cancellation due to insufficient enrolment), subject to the School’s discretion.  In exceptional cases where a refund is approved, fees paid by cash, EPS, WeChat Pay, cheque or PPS (for online payment only) will normally be reimbursed by a cheque, and fees paid by credit card will normally be reimbursed to the payment cardholder’s credit card account.
  • In addition to the published fees, there may be additional costs associated with individual programmes. Please refer to the relevant course brochures or direct any enquiries to the relevant programme team for details.
  • Fees and places on courses cannot be transferred from one applicant to another. Once accepted onto a course, the student may not change to another course without approval from HKU SPACE. A processing fee of HK$120 will be levied on approved transfers.
  • Receipts will be issued for fees paid but HKU SPACE will not be responsible for any loss of receipt sent by mail.
  • For payment certification, please submit a completed form, a sufficiently stamped and self-addressed envelope, and a crossed cheque for HK$30 per copy made payable to “HKU SPACE” to any of our enrolment centres.


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