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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of the course is to integrate the analysis of law with the conceptual framework pertaining to “gender studies”, i.e. a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach that analyses the processes of social construction and “naturalization” of sex and sexuality, their socio-cultural and legal representations, as well as the effects produced by sexual and gender identities on individuals, groups and institutions. The course aims to provide students with a knowledge and ability to understand and critically analyze problems related to equality and discrimination, to be achieved through the analysis and discussion of documents and court judgments. Classroom lectures will help to acquire the knowledge and understanding, in a gender-focused perspective, of the problems related to the production, interpretation and application of law.


Good knowledge of the Italian language and possession of adequate logical skills, as well as sufficient aptitude for learning and reasoning.

Course programme

The course forecasts 40 hours of teaching. After an introduction concerning the theoretical approach that will characterize the course (namely, in the field of critical theories of law, feminist legal theory and gender studies), the following themes will be explored, among others:
(i) feminism, LGBT+ studies, queer studies and law.
ii) feminist reformulation of concepts: equality, autonomy, vulnerability
iii) relevant topics, including: intersectional discrimination, violence, egalitarian marriage, surrogacy, rights of intersex people, etc.

Didactic methods

The course will be delivered in presence, unless specific needs arise from the Coronavirus emergency.

Particular attention will be paid to the participation of the students, who will be invited to take actively part to the lessons.

Some seminars will be held by experts in gender studies; to encourage discussion and debate, students will be invited to play the role of discussants.

The course will be divided into two modules.
The first module will deal with the main theoretical issues concerning the study of law from a gender perspective.
The second module will focus on the analysis of practical cases: adopting the research laboratory's methodology, legal and judicial acts will be examined in order to understand how gender stereotypes still influence legal practice and to identify possible corrective solutions.

Learning assessment procedures

The exam consists of an oral test. The aim of the exam is to verify to what degree the learning objectives previously described have been acquired. Students will have to answer three questions on the topics regarding the course program. The final grade is the average of the marks awarded to each of the student's answers.

Reference texts

For students who attend the lectures: supplementary texts of notes will be specified during the course.

For students who do not attend the lectures:

As an alternative:

- L. Gianformaggio, Eguaglianza, donne, diritto, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2005.

- C. Mackinnon, Le donne sono umane?, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 2012.

- A. Facchi, O. Giolo, Libera scelta e libera condizione, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2020 together with M.G. Bernardini, O. Giolo (a cura di), Critiche di genere. Percorsi su norme, corpi e identità nel pensiero femminista, Aracne, Roma, 2015.

-G. Zanetti, L’orientamento sessuale. Cinque domande tra diritto e filosofia, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2015 together with M.R. Marella, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Sulle possibilità di un’analisi giuridica queer, in M.G. Bernardini, O. Giolo (a cura di), Le teorie critiche del diritto, Pacini, Pisa, 2017, pp. 249-272.