This course offers historical development of feminist theory and contemporary debates within feminism. Course work will center around understanding how feminism, women, gender, sexuality, and patriarchy have been theorized within specific feminist paradigms in social and historical contexts. We will pay particular attention to how these constructs intersect with sexism, racism, classism and capitalism, heterosexism, heteronormativity, and nationalism. Students will engage contemporary themes in feminist theory and ongoing and enduring debates within and about feminism. Students will be challenged to reflect upon and move beyond their own closely held beliefs to look at feminist theories, gender relations, and intersectional social inequalities in the context of the field of women’s and gender studies and related (inter)disciplinary domains. Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to improve their critical reading, writing, thinking, and analytical skills.
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
- Understand the diversity of feminist theories in social and historical contexts.
- Understand the extent to which feminist theorists have explored the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, ability, and/or nation within and across a range of topic areas.
- Use feminist theories to examine, interpret, and explain social phenomena, including inequality, discrimination, and social change.
- Identify the major challenges for feminist theory, politics, and activism during the early 21st century.