This course examines the theory and practice of mentoring to consider what might constitute a feminist model of mentorship. The course utilizes an intersectional analysis to explore the ways that gender/race/class/age interact in mentoring relationships. Beginning with a discussion of definitions and the history of mentoring, the course proceeds to consider personal narratives and mentoring practices, and the connection between mentoring and women’s leadership for social change.
In addition, the course will consider the micro challenges in building mentoring relationships, as well as gaining a macro lens on mentoring from an historical perspective, and the rise of structured mentoring as a form of engagement and social inclusion. Key questions addressed include: What are the myths of mentoring? How is mentoring used as a tool for social change? What is the connection between mentoring, leadership, policy, and practice? Can mentoring cross gender/race/class/age? How important is it to for mentors and mentees to share the same world view, standpoint, and culture? In examining case studies, personal narratives, prose, and memoir; what are lived experiences of young women and mentoring?
The class will feature several guest speakers to illustrate mentoring models. In addition, for an additional one CESEP credit, registration is linked with an applied experience in an existing Rutgers mentoring program which may include the Institute for Women’s Leadership’s WINGS and GROW programs; and/or other existing mentoring programs that take place over the course of the academic year.
The learning goals for the class include: (1) to gain an understanding of the definitions and history of mentoring using an interdisciplinary approach; (2) to gain an understanding of the ways that women in mentoring relations understand and narrate their experiences in the context of their life stories; (3) to gain an understanding of women’s leadership for social change and the importance of mentoring as a tool in transformative women’s leadership; (4) to advance critical reading skills; and (5) to utilize both primary and secondary sources in writing a research paper.