Professor: Dayo Gore
Office Hours: Tu. 12:30-1:30, Th. 11-12pm and by appointment, Bartlett 261
Contact: 413.545.2433

Women's Studies 301
Theorizing Women's Issues: U.S. Feminisms in Theory and Practice
Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 am, Bartlett 127

"It is not our differences that separate women, but our reluctance to recognize those differences and to deal effectively with the distortions that have resulted from the ignoring and misnaming of those differences"
- Audre Lorde

This course provides an overview and analysis of feminist theories and practices as they have emerged within the United States. In particular the course will explore the ways the intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality as well as the politics of difference have shaped feminist theories and activisms. The course emphasizes understanding feminist theory within the political, historical and cultural contexts in which they were developed and taking into account the ways such theories address practical questions and debates regarding strategies for social change and women's lived experiences. Thus we will also explore the ways that feminist theories have engaged, emerged from or shaped different forms of political activism and debates from the abolitionist movement and pornography to gay marriage and antiviolence organizing.

Required Readings
Linda Nicholson, editor, The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory (1997)
Amber Hollibaugh, My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home (2002)
Assata Shakur, Assata
A Reading Packet

All books are available at Food for Thoughts Books
The Reading Packet is available at Copy Cat
All required readings, including the reading packet, are also available at the Library on reserve

Assignments and Grades
Your grade will be based on an engagement, understanding and analysis of the readings, films and class conversations. You will have the opportunity to demonstrate such knowledge through two (5-7 page) analytical papers that respond to questions handed out in class. Each paper will count as 20% of your grade (40%total) with the first due week 7 and the second due near the end of term, exact date tbd. 8 (1 page) weekly response papers due at the beginning of each Thursday class. Each response paper will count as 5% of your grade (40% total) and should directly address the readings in a thoughtful manner, although creativity and making connections to broader issues is definitely welcomed. Late response papers will not be accepted.The final 20% of your grade will rest on class participation. Your participation grade will be based on regular attendance and active engagement in class discussions, breakout session, activities etc. More than 3 unexcused absences will result in a lowering of your overall grade.

2 (5-7 p.) analytic papers 20% each
8 (1 p.) response papers 5% each
Class participation 20%

Week 1: Introduction and Tools

Brown, "What Has Happened Here" in The Second Wave, p. 272-287
Hollibaugh, "Foreword" and "Introduction," in My Dangerous Desires p. xi-11 Audre Lorde, "Master Tools" (Handout)

Sept.4: Logistics and Overview of Course

Week 2: In Slavery and Freedom, Forging First Wave Feminism

Sojourner Truth, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Anna Julia Cooper in Words of Fire in Reading Packet
Declaration of Sentiments in Reading Packet
Nancy Cott, "The Birth of Feminism," in Reading Packet
Evelyn Higgenbotham, "Metalanguage of Race" in Reading Packet

Sept. 9: Why Does Theory Matter? Why does feminist history matter?
Discussion of Week 1 readings

Sept 11: First Wave feminism and the debates over inclusion.
Response papers due, can also hand in response paper for week 1

Week 3: Immigration, Colonization and U.S. Imperialism.

Lisa Lowe, "Preface" and "Immigration, Citizenship, Racialization" in Reading Packet
M.A. Jaimes Guerrero, "Exemplars of Indigenism" in Reading Packet
Antonia I. Castaneda "Sexual Violence in the Politics of Conquest"
Narayan, "Contesting Cultures" in The Second Wave, p. 396-414

Sept 16: Theorizing Women's experiences under U.S. Imperialism

Sept 18: Discussion of readings

Week 4: Racing and Gendering the Body Through Science

Emily Martin, Medical Metaphors of Women's Bodies," in Reading Packet
Terri Kapsalis, "Mastering the Female Pelvis," in Reading Packet
Siobhan Somerville, "Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual Body," in Reading Packet

Sept 23: Science and constructions of difference

Sept. 25: Discussion of readings

Week 5: Framing the Second Wave

Daniel Horowitz, "Introduction" in Betty Freidan and the Making of the Feminine Mystique in Reading Packet
Claudia Jones, "An End to the Neglect of the Problems of the Negro Woman!" in Reading Packet
Lorraine Hannsberry, "Simone De Beauvoir and the Second Sex"
Alice Echols, "Prologue: The re-emergence of the 'Woman Question'," in Reading Packet

Sept. 30: Understanding women's politics in the 1940s and 1950s

Oct 2: Discussion: Why a Second Wave? Is it a useful framing?

Week 6: Second Wave Feminisms
De Beauvoir, Firestone, Rubin and Combahee "Early Statements" in The Second Wave, p. 7-70.
Alma Garcia, "The Development of Chicana Feminist Discourse," in Reading Packet

Oct. 7: Social movements, the sixties and the grounding of 2nd wave feminism

Oct 10: Discussion: What questions have shaped debates over women's oppression?

Week 7: Marxism, Economics and Feminist Politics
Hartmann, "The Unhappy Marriage," and Barrett "Capitalism and Women's Liberation," in The Second Wave, p. 98-130.
Chandra Talpade Mohanty, "Women Workers and Capitalist Scripts

Oct 14: First paper due at start of class. Analyzing the relationship between Capitalism and Women's Oppression.

Oct 16: Discussion: Does capitalism create women's oppression? What does it mean to be a woman worker?

Week 8: Regulating Sex
NanHunter, "Contextualizing the Sexuality Debates," in Reading Packet
MacKinnon, "Sexuality," in Second Wave p. 158-180
Hollibaug, "What Were Rollin Around in Bed With," 62-83,
"Talking Sex," 118-137, "Sex Works Notes," 181-186 all in My Dangerous Desires
Oct 21: Sexuality, gender and sexual violence

Oct 23: Discussion: Examining power and desire

Week 9: Constructing Gender
Alcoff, "Cultural Feminism vs. Post Structuralism" in The Second Wave
Wettig, "One is Not Born a Woman" in The Second Wave
Butler, "Imitation and Gender Insubordination," in The Second Wave
Alcorn, "The Theoretical Subjects" in The Second Wave
Arlene Stein, "Sister Queer: Decentering Lesbian Feminism" in Reading Packet

Oct 28: The relationship between gender, sexuality and sex in feminist theory

Oct 30: Discussion: What does social construction really mean? Is essentialism dead?

Week 10: Some Legislative Strategies for Inclusion and Resistance

Michael Warner, "Normal and Normaller," in Reading Packet
Lisa Duggan, "Censorship in the Name of Feminism," and Duggan, Hunter and Vance, "False Promises" in Reading Packet
Hollibaugh, "Sexuality and the State," in My Dangerous Desire, p. 43-61.
Alice Kessler Harris, "EEOC vs. Sears Roebuck and Co," in Reading Packet

Nov. 4: Legislating change, battles won and lessons learned

Nov 6: Discussion plus: Do we need to define feminist activisms and issues?

Week 11: Some Strategies for Inclusion and Resistance

Collins, "Defining Black Feminist Thought" in The Second Wave, p. 241-259
Cathy Cohen, "Punks, Bulldaggers and Welfare Queens," in Reading Packet
Shakur, Assata, forward-79

Nov 11: No Class, Hey its a chance to get ahead on readings

Nov 13: Discussion plus: Identity and Politics, Can feminist build at the intersections?

Week 12: Feminist Perspectives on Violence and the State

Anannya Bhattacharjee, "The Public/Private Mirage" in Reading Packet Shakur, Assata, 80-194

Nov.18: Domestic violence and antiviolence organizing

Nov. 21: Controversial solutions to violence against women, discussion

Week 13: More Feminist Perspectives on Violence and The State

Kathleen Daly, "Crime and Justice," in Reading Packet
Shakur, Assata, 195-end

Nov. 25: Feminist and policing/prisons the politics and problems

Nov. 27: No Class

Week 14: Women, Community and the Impact of AIDS

Hollibaugh, My Dangerous Desires, p. 187-219
And reading handout

Dec. 2: Film

Dec. 4: Discussion: How has constructions of gender, sexuality and race shaped
government and activists responses to HIV and AIDS?

Week 15: Cultural Consumption and Multiculturalism

Victoria de Grazia, "Introduction" in Reading Packet
Ann DuCille, "Toy Theory," in Reading packet
Lisa Lowe, "Imaging L.A. in the Production of Multiculturalism," in Reading Packet

Dec. 9: Discussion of readings

Dec 11: Final Class wrap-up