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Sharing Perspectives on English-Medium Instruction

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Edited By Katherine Ackerley, Marta Guarda and Francesca Helm

English is increasingly used as a medium of instruction in European higher education not only in northern countries, but also in the European ‘south’. This volume is fruit of a project which was carried out in a public university based in the north-east of Italy with the aim of delivering professional development for university lecturers engaged in EMI. It begins with an overview of the European context, the Italian context, and some of the arguments against the indiscriminate spread of English as a medium of instruction in higher education. The volume then focuses on the microcontext of the university, giving voice to the various stakeholders in EMI. These include researchers, lecturers, administrative staff, those involved in professional development and students. The central part of the volume presents the views and experiences of twelve EMI lecturers from a range of academic disciplines. In sharing these perspectives on EMI, the volume hopes to stimulate critical dialogue and research on the many issues involved in this aspect of internationalisation in higher education institutions.

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The gender historian (Lorenza Perini)

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LORENZA PERINI1

The gender historian

1.   Introduction

The subject I teach, Gender Politics and Welfare State in the European Union, is not a typical subject for the Italian academic system, and one of the main reasons is that gender is not really a subject to teach, but it is a different way of viewing the subjects we usually teach. It is more like using a particular type of glasses to look around. Attending my class, students are offered a pair of gender glasses with which they are asked to look at their life as well as at the society they belong to and at the courses they have chosen. The objective is to point out differences: “with these glasses I see this, without them I see that”. The gap between ‘this’ and ‘that’, in 90% of the cases is an issue of discrimination. Our duty is understanding if this is a case of sex discrimination. This is the starting point of the course.

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