DECONSTRUCTING GENDER - How to Teach Gender and Feminist Pedagogy using Stephenie Meyer's Life and Death in the EFL classroom

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: Research done by The Swedish National Agency for Education shows students being treatedand assessed differently. Various demands and expectations are placed on them based on theirgender. Schools thus have a responsibility and a duty to counterbalance conventional andstereotypical gender patterns. The aim of this essay is to show how teaching from a genderand a feminist perspective could be achieved with the use of literature in the EFL classroom.The thesis claim of this essay is that Stephenie Meyer's novels Life and Death and Twilightcan be used beneficially as resources as a way of bringing gender awareness and the issue ofgender roles and their representation in young adult literature. Life and Death is areimagination of the original novel, Twilight, where most of the characters have swappedgenders. Fundamental aspects of gender and feminist pedagogy are a focus on gender and forboth teachers and students to obtain new knowledge and for their thinking to shift in newdirections. With the gender swap, Life and Death offers the world of Twilight in wherechanges have been made in regard to power structures featured in the novel, gender roles andwhat is considered masculine versus feminine. It could therefore be argued that a combinationof the two novels are well suited to use as a starting point for gender-conscious discussions.This essay contains a literary and didactic analysis of Meyer’s novels, as well as suggestedexamples of gender-conscious exercises perspective for the EFL classroom, which can complement the reading.

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