Office Hours: T, Th 12:45 - 2:15 p.m. and Wednesday a.m. by appointment
This course explores various ways of analyzing and reflecting on current issues and controversies in feminist thought within a context sensitive to class, race, and sexual power concerns. Serious examination of the multifaceted dimensions of women's lived experiences (Euro-American women, women of color, Third World women): of the production of knowledge and critical thought; crucial debates of feminist activity; women's agency and their pragmatic activism which addresses those issues deemed injurious to the well-being of all women. Consciously and deliberately address the need to reconcile the contradictions between subjectivity and objectivity, between experiences within the academy and outside; between the individual and the group; between theory and practice.
Specific course objectives within the focus indicated above are that the students will:
Develop an understanding of how "gender" is socially constructed.METHODS Readings: which include a range of women thinkers explicitly grounding the analysis in multiple voices to highlight the diversity , richness, and power of women' s ideas but also reflecting diverse theoretical traditions such as Afrocentric philosophy, feminist theory , Marxist social thought, and the sociology of knowledge.
Develop an understanding of how we construct our own gender identities, how we perfoffil within "gendered scripts", and with what outcomes. Examine way ofhow gender creates and is created in relationships between people, and consider how our gendered performances influence the patterns and dynamics of our relationships.
Develop awareness of, and skills to, explore/investigate/question socially constructed concepts such as (and not limited to): gender, race, class, sexuality, sexual politics, sexual violence, identity, power, change, etc.
Understand to what extent are there conflicts between preserving indigenous cultural traditions and achieving women's rights.
Understand the intersection of gender, race, and class oppression, and how these structure sexuality, reproduction, and sexual violence.
Grasp the imperative to democratize the sphere of the family, production, and social life.
Out-of-class activities: Direct field observations of and reflecting on activities related to women' s experience and social change.
Instructor commentary and presentation
Use of Video
Class participation: discussions, debates, and dialogue.
Group work: work in groups and class presentations.
Reading assignments must be completed by the class period for which they were assigned.
Andersen, Margaret. (1997) Thinking About Women: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender. Allyn & Bacon.
Naples, Nancy. (1998) Community Activism and Feminist Politics: Organizing Across Race, Class, and Gender. Routledge.
Introduction to Course
Introductory exercises and questions
Current and contemporary critical women's issues (Student contributions)
Studying Women: Feminist Perspectives. Pp. 1-17 (Anderson Text)
Difference and Domination.Zinn and Dill, in Zinn and Dill (1994) Women
of Color in U.S. Society. Pp 3-12 (HANDOUT)
Whose Feminism, Whose History (Chapter 1, Naples Text)
MANDATORY ATTENDANCE AT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ON WOMEN'S RIGHTS
The documentary about the historic unionization of strippers at the Lusly Lady Theater in San Francisco. The Producer and Co-Director of the documentary Julia Query will speak followign the screening. February 8 @ 7:30 p.m. Place: Mahar Auditorium
Discussion of the Documentary and speech "Live Nude Girls Unite" (1-2 page reaction paper on this is due in class today.)
Social Construction of Gender. Pp. 19-50 (Anderson Text)
Images, Ideology, and Women of Color. Mullings in. Zinn an Dill, in Zinn
and Dill (1994) Women of Color in U.S. Society pp. 265-289
MONDAY CLASS SCHEDULE
Images of Gender: Women and the Social Construction of Knowledge Pp. 53-75
Picture is Political. Marshment in Robinson and Richardson (1997) Introduction Women's Studies, pp. 125-151. (HANDOUT)
Video: Dream World
Responses/Reactions (paper due) Discussion of the Video
Sexuality and Intimate Relationships. Pp. 78-96 (Andersen Text)
Sexuality and Feminism. Richardson in Robinson and Richrdson (1997)
Introducing Women's Studies. Pp. 152-174 (HANDOUT)
Women and Work Pp. 99-42 (Anderson Text)
Women and Work Anne Witz in Robinson and Richardson (1997) Introducing Women's Studies Pp. 239-257 (HANDOUT)
Women and Families. Pp. 145-184 (Anderson Text)
Women, Health, and Reproduction. Pp. 187-220 (Anderson Text)
Women and Religion. Pp. 223-248 (Andersen Text)
Women, crime, and Deviance. Pp. 251-279 (Anderson Text)
Women, Power, and Politics. Pp. 282-314 (Anderson Text)
Women, Violence, and Male Power. Maynard and Winn in Robinson and
Richardson (1997) Introducing Women's Studies Pp. 175-197
Reconceptualizing Agency (Naples Text pp. 81-106)
Challenging Power (Naples Text pp. 129-150)
Conversations, Research, and Struggles. Naples Text pp. 107-128)
Producing Battered Women (Naples Text pp. 151-174)
Class, Gender, and Resistance in the Appalachian Coalfields (Naples Text
Gender, Race, and Community Activism. (Naples Text pp. 237-256)
Women's Community Activism (Naples Text pp. 327-349)
Women and Social Reform: Liberal Feminism (Naples Text pp. 317-338)
Socialist Feminism. (Andersen Text pp. 341-367)
Radical Feminism. (Andersen Text pp. 370-381)
Old Lenses, New Directions. (Andersen Text pp. 370-381
Course Evaluations and Closure (Naples Text pp. 327-349)
Be sure to consult with me (during my office hours or by appointment) on your choice of topic by April 15th.
CATEGORY: LEARNING AND DOING GENDER
Identify some aspect of popular culture (current children' s films or cartoons, television sitcoms, media advertising). Develop a systematic way to observe the gender images portrayed. Discus the following: What do these images convey to the audience? Using the theoretical frameworks used to explain the depiction of women in the media, how would you explain the presence of .these images? How do these images and messages continue to foster and perpetuate binary modes of gender socialization?
CATEGORY: CONTEMPORARY WOMEN'S ISSUES, INSTITUTIONS OF SOCIAL CONTROL, AND ACTIVITIES OF SOCIAL CHANGE
Attend two public events (one on-campus and one off-campus either in any town or any four colleges) that address contemporary women's issues.
Address the following
(A) what was the issue, who presented this as an issue (race, ethnicity , sexual orientation, religion, class, age etc. of the group, individual). How did they frame the issue (how did they describe this as an issue, what did they propose as changes necessary to address this issue, what did they propose as methods by which social changes can be made to eliminate this issue, were they inclusive, exclusive.
(B) which feminist framework(s) best illustrate the content of this event as an issue for women? From the point of view of these feminist framework(s) what would they suggest as change needed to eliminate this issue for women? What are the limitations of these approaches to addressing this issue? In your opinion how could the limitations of these approaches be addressed?
( c ) Would you identify this (the issue presented at the public event) as an issue for women (elaborate ). If you were to take action to change this situation, which theoretical framework(s) would you draw from and why? And what would be you venue and activity and why?
II. CRITICAL RESPONSE PAPERS
III. SOCIAL POSITIONALITY PAPER
Reflect on what we have learnt so far in class. Utilizing this knowledge and drawing from the class material describe your "social positionality." Critically examine the implications of your social positionality for yourself, and for others. Indicate the insights you gained from this exercise. (Due in class on Tu. February 22)
Appendix 1 Class Attendance
Regular attendance is an absolute. Excused absences are for illnesses and extenuating circumstances only. Having to study for a test or helping a friend who is going through a difficult time, for example, will not constitute excused absences. Written documents must be submitted for excused absences. Bear in mind that it is your responsibility to submit all necessary documentation for excused absences. Three unexcused absences will result in your grade being marked down a full letter. Six unexcused absences will result in a D. more than six unexcused absences will automati<:ally result in a failing grade.
Appendix 2 In-Class Participation
It is extremely important and you are required to read assigned readings prior to each class. You are expected to demonstrate grasp of reading material by contributing to discussion in class. Viewing films or videos in class is a must. No shows for viewing films or videos is considered unexcused absences. Home work assignments must be completed before classes so that you are able to participate in class discussions. No free-rides in class! Everybody must be well read and well prepared to offer thoughts, ideas, critiques, and analysis where necessary in class.
Format of the Cover page
Your name Course # and Title Assignment Type and # ( e. g. Short Paper 1, or Final Paper Outline, or Final Paper , etc.) Due Date
Date of Submission