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01:988:301 Feminist Theory: Historical Perspectives

Course Description:

            What is Theory? What is feminist theory and how does it relate to feminism activism and education? Who can theorize? About whom? What is the relationship between the theorist and the object(s) of her knowledge? How is she embodied?

            In this class we study feminist theory in connection with feminist activism and its history, namely we study feminist theory as influenced by and reacting to historical circumstances and feminist social movements. We also discuss feminist thought in relation with several important bodies of thought, from liberalism to Marxism, and as related to various disciplines, from psychology to political science.

            Aware that the theorizing I / eye has historically been white rather than non-white (and male rather than female, and heterosexual rather than queer), in this class we present a variety of theoretical positions across lines of race, ethnicity, and sexuality, highlighting feminist theory as a conversation, at times contentious, between asymmetrically positioned theorists, most of them situated in the Western tradition. By the end of this class, you will acquire a basic understanding of a variety of feminist concepts, you will be able to recognize theoretically a certain feminist claim, and you will learn how to apply feminist theory to a certain problem.

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Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building
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P  848/932-9331
F  732/932-1335
E  womenstudies@womenstudies.rutgers.edu