HDCB01082U Gender Studies: Denmark – Brothel of the North?

Volume 2014/2015
Danish Culture Courses

Cultures of Gender and Sexuality in the 20th Century Seen From a Danish Perspective

Sexuality and gender is more than biology. They are cultures and they have histories which make them worth of scholarly exploration. Scandinavia has a reputation for being liberal, or indeed emancipated, when it comes to sex and gender. A history some applauds and others criticize for having gone off the edge, leading some anti-prostitution activists to dub Denmark ’Brothel of the North’. 

In this course we will explore gender and sexuality in Scandinavia and internationally through historical investigations of contemporary questions. Issues around homosexuality, pornography, transgender, children’s sexuality, prostitution, STDs, masculinity, and women’s liberation have flourished throughout last century. We will discuss these and others, aiming to understand the historical and cultural roots of contemporary debates.

We will aim to understand scholarly debates around questions such as essentialism versus constructionism, queer theory, political uses of scholarly research, and censorship.

The course will consist of 10 lectures and two excursions where we visit activist organizations and a cultural historical exhibition. We will also be screening significant Danish movies, dealing with the topics of sexuality and gender.


NB. We will deal with pornography in a scholarly manner, and no one will be shown pornographic images they do not want to see. A warning will always be given before dealing with offensive images.


The course is only offered to exchange and international guest students at the University of Copenhagen.
Lectures and excursions
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Excursions
  • 11
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Total
  • 31
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Censorship form
No external censorship