Core Course Descriptions
- 988:515 Feminism: Theory and Practice
This course aims to illuminate the interconnections of theory and practice by exploring particular modes of feminist activism and the complex theoretical issues that feminist praxis raises. The course seeks to foster an understanding of the multiple ways that feminist theory has opened our imaginations to the possibilities for inclusive democratic practices, and expanded the repertoire of strategies for realizing social change.
- 988:520 Agency, Subjectivity, and Social Change
This course investigates women’s mobilizations to transform social and political institutions, which also transform women activists themselves. Examining global feminist movements in the past as well as in the contemporary world, this course seeks to explicate how women’s activism and agency continue to challenge dominant discourses on agency, subjectivity, culture, politics, authority, religion, and society.
- One course in feminist theory. May be selected from 988:582, 988:583, or other courses to be designated each semester as fulfilling this requirement.
988:581 Feminist Genealogies
As a methodology, genealogy seeks to trace concepts back not to their origins (a task which presupposes continuity), but to points at which contradictions and contestations erupted in a manner productive of later discursive formations. This course examines key modern theories whose contradictions provoked feminist thought and elicited feminist critiques (for example, Hegelian, Liberal, Marxist, Existentialist and others). Both primary and secondary texts will be examined from perspectives of the first wave of the 19th century feminism, and second and third wave twentieth century feminism.
988:583 Contemporary Feminist Theories
This course will examine how recent feminist theories have critiqued a variety of traditional boundaries such as theoretical categories of identity, global hierarchies of power, and disciplinary boundaries. The original contributions of feminist theories to conceptual thinking will be explored around key concepts such as agency, identity, difference, location, intersectionality, transnationalism and nationalism, representation, resistance, power, and sexuality.
- One course in feminist research and methods. May be selected from 988:602, 988:603, or other courses to be designated each semester as fulfilling this requirement.
988:602 Feminist Methodologies
This course focuses on both the advantages and disadvantages of different philosophical, methodological, theoretical, and disciplinary traditions for contributing to our knowledge of central issues in women's and gender studies. The goal is to provide students with the critical tools to utilize and interrogate existing methodologies and to adapt them to the enterprise of feminist research. What counts as authoritative knowledge? What defines good research and bad research? What is the role of the social in the constitution of knowledge? What makes research feminist?
988:603 Feminist Knowledge Production
This course is an introduction to many of the methods used in feminist interdisciplinary research. The course looks at how to formulate a research question, collect data, interpret and analyze evidence, and report research results. The course will be a forum to apply knowledge of methods and methodologies to students’ own research and research-activist interests.