Spring 99:  Feminism   0122-382-01:  MW 3:10p-4:25p, LM 269

Course Description:

The course is designed as an upper division level course which emphasizes theoretical analyses.  The aim is threefold:  First, in order for us to gain understanding of the diversity of approaches within what is labeled as “feminism,” we examine various feminist theories and analyze their claims and points of contention.  We will also examine the broader theoretical framework (such as “liberalism,” “existentialism,” “socialism,” etc.) within which specific feminist concerns have emerged.  Second, we will examine specific relations between “philosophy” and “feminism.”  In this section the focus will be the analyses of feminist contributions to the history of philosophy, ethics, and epistemology.  Finally, we conclude by contexualizing the current theoretical debates of feminism and philosophy within a global framework; we will examine the implications of a “postcolonial feminist” approach and discuss the relevance of feminism-at-large in such a context.


Course Requirements and Grading:

1. 12 Weekly summary papers.  5 points each, 60 points total.  Each week, you will take one article, from the 3 articles in the anthology per section, and write a two-page summary.  The summary papers will have the following format:  First, you will summarize the main points the author makes.  Second, you will evaluate it.  In other words, you will give your own analysis, agreement, disagreement, etc.  Summary papers must be written before we discuss the material; we will use them in class, for discussion/presentation.  In other words, they are written one week ahead of the schedule.

2.  Final essay.  20 points. (take-home, 6-7 pages)  Final essay will be an analysis/evaluation paper, either on some aspect of the debates within feminist theories, relation between philosophy and feminism, or postcolonial feminist critique.  Possible topics will be distributed in class toward the end of the semester.

3.  Participation and Discussion.  20 points.  This course relies heavily on discussions.  Each person will be responsible for presenting an article every class.

100 points total.  A: 92-100, A-: 90 and 91, B+: 89, and so on.

Course Schedule

Week 1 (Jan 25, 27): Introduction and overview:  Tong 1-9

Week 2 (Feb 1, 3) Liberal Feminist Perspectives (FP Section 1; Tong Chapter 1)

Week 3 (Feb 8, 10) Socialist Feminist Perspectives (FP Section 5; Tong Chapter 3)

Week 4 (Feb 15, 17) Radical Feminist Perspectives (FP Section 3; Tong Chapter 2)

Week 5 (Feb 22, 24) Psychoanalytic Feminist Perspectives (FP Section 4; Tong Chapter 4)

Week 6 (Mar 1, 3) Phenomenological and Existential Feminist Perspectives (FP Section 7; Tong Chapter 5)

Week 7 (Mar 8, 10)  Postmodern Feminist Perspectives (FP Section 8; Tong Chapter 6)

Week 8:  Spring Break.

Week 9 (Mar 22, 24) Feminism and History of Philosophy (Reader)

Week 10 (Mar 29, 31) Feminism and History of Philosophy, continued.

Week 11 (Apr 5, 7) Feminist Ethics (Reader)

Week 12 (Apr 12, 14) Feminist Epistemology (Reader)

Week 13 (Apr 19, 21)  Postcolonial Feminist Perspectives (Narayan): Tong Chapter 7)

Week 14 (Apr 26, 28) Postcolonial Feminist Perspectives (Narayan)

Week 15 (May 3, 5):  Review and discussion

Final is due on Tuesday, May 18, 1pm.

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