Using an interdisciplinary feminist perspective, this course will examine the construction and practice of gender in various contexts, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, and (dis)ability in the lives of women. Topics include women’s rights, sexuality and health, family life and work, militarism, globalization, environmental issues, representations, and social change.
Learning Objectives for the Semester
It is assumed that you come to this class because you have interest in learning about women’s and gender studies and feminism and/or because you have questions about the practice of gender in society. The goals for this class are:
Knowledge and Understanding
1) Distinguish and identify key concepts pertaining to gender, feminism, women’s studies, and women’s movements in the U.S., and contextualize these transnationally.
2) Identify and explain salient practices of gender, race, sexuality, and (dis)ability; as well as class and nationality, as these are experienced in U.S. society.
3) Recognize and explain how theoretical orientations are tied to activism and social change movements.
4) Describe and provide examples of forms of oppression and resistance by individuals and activist movements in the U.S. and transnationally.
Skills: Analysis & Synthesis
5) Analyze and critique the content, theoretical orientation, and methodologies in the materials assigned for class.
6) Explore how your knowledge affects your actions beyond the classroom.
7) Critically apply class frameworks to in-class materials and extracurricular activities.
8) Increase your capacity to synthesize materials critically in group dialogues.
9) Become more critically aware of how social privilege and oppression play out in your own life.
10) Recognize the uniqueness of each individual in the context of group memberships.
Available at the University Bookstore:
Kirk, Gwyn & Margo Okazawa-Rey (2012) Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives. McGraw Hill.
Seager, Joni (2008) Penguin Atlas of Women in the World. Penguin Books.
Grades will be updated and published periodically via Blackboard Grade Center. All grading will be done electronically, so make sure to check the Grade Center for feedback. You may wish to set it to notify you when new grades are posted.
30% 3 Mid-term Exams (10% each)
10% Final Exam
10% 2 Beyond the Classroom Write-ups (5% each)
25% Daily Responses
22% Participation (See Participation section below)
1% Mid-term Self-evaluation
1% Final Self-evaluation
Topics, readings, due dates are listed below. Note, this schedule is subject to change to accommodate our learning objectives. I will notify you of any changes and update this schedule on Blackboard as necessary. K&OR indicates a reading in the textbook, while JS indicates pages to review in the Atlas. If a reading is preceded by BB, it will be found on Blackboard on the “Schedule” page.
Unit 1: Who are Our Mothers? Women, Gender, & Feminisms
Week 1: History of Feminisms
|W 1/16||Course Introduction|
|F 1/18||K& OR Chapter 1: Introduction, p. 3K&OR 1: Gunn Allen – Who Is Your Mother? Red Roots of White Feminism, p. 18
K&OR 2: Seneca Falls – Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, p. 24
JS 35: The Vote, p. 94
DUE: Goals, 5 pm Blackboard
Week 2: Feminist Theorizing
|M 1/21||MLK Jr. Day – No Class|
|W 1/23||K&OR 3: Combahee River Collective – A Black Feminist Statement, p. 27K&OR 4: Becky Thompson – Multiracial Feminism: Recasting the Chronology, p. 33
K&OR 5: Naomi Wolf – Radical Heterosexuality, p. 43
|F 1/25||K&OR Chapter 2 Introduction, p. 51K&OR 7: Lorber – The Social Construction of Gender, p. 64|
Week 3: Feminist Theorizing
|M 1/28||K&OR 8: Johnson – Patriarchy, the System, p. 68K&OR 9: Collins – Black Feminist Thought, p. 77
JS 3: In Their Place, p. 18
|W 1/30||K&OR 10: Mohanty – Genealogies of Community, Home and Nation, p. 82K&OR 11: Abu-Lughod – Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?, p. 89
|F 2/1||K&OR Chapter 3 Introduction, p. 101K&OR 12: Daly – Perspectives of Native American Women on Race And Gender, p. 115|
Week 4: Social Locations
|M 2/4||K&OR 13: Allsion – A Question Of Class, p. 123K&OR 14: Kaye/Kantrowitz – Jews in the U.S.: The Rising Costs of Whiteness, p. 131
K&OR 15: Waters – Optional Ethnicities: For Whites Only?, p. 138
|W 2/6||K&OR 17: Alvarez – Once Upon a Quinceañera, p. 151K&OR 18: Naber – Decolonizing Culture, p. 158|
|F 2/8||Unit 1 Exam|
Unit 2: Production & Reproduction: Labor, Family, Sexuality, and Health
Week 5: Production & Reproduction
|M 2/11||K&OR Chapter 7 Introduction, p. 307K&OR 40: Gustafson – Why Privilege Marriage?, p. 340
JS 5: Marriage and Divorce, p. 24
JS 6: Lesbian Rights, p. 26
JS 21: Working for Wages, p. 62
JS 22: Workplaces, p. 64
JS 23: Unequal Opportunities, p. 66
|W 2/13||K&OR 41: Crittenden – The Mommy Tax, p. 342K&OR 28: Harjo – Three Generations of Native American Women Give Birth, p. 238
K&OR 30: ACRJ – Reproductive Justice: Vision, Analysis and Action, p. 243
JS 9: Motherhood, p. 34
JS 10: Contraception, p. 36
JS 11: Abortion, p. 38
JS 25: Unpaid Work, p. 70
|F 2/15||K&OR 42: Chambers – To Whom Much Is Given Much Is Expected, p. 350K&OR 43: Hayes & Hartman – Women and Men Living on the Edge, p. 358
BB Brophy Marcus – Alzheimer’s carries heavy toll
JS 4: Households, p. 22
Week 6: Love & Sexuality
|M 2/18||President’s Day – No Class|
|W 2/20||K&OR Chapter 4 Introduction, p. 173K&OR 32: hooks – Living to Love, p. 250
K&OR 38: Filemyr – Loving Across the Boundary, p. 322
|F 2/22||K&OR 21: Cisneros – Guadalupe the Sex Goddess, p. 187K&OR 24: Somerson – On the Complications of Negotiating Dyke Femininity, p. 198
K&OR 25: Khan – The All-American Queer Pakistani Girl, p.204
Week 7: Health & Body
|M 2/25||K&OR Chapter 5 Introduction, p. 209K&OR 27: Thomson – Feminist Theory, the Body, and the Disabled Figure, p. 232|
|W 2/27||K&OR 19: Feinberg – We Are All Works in Progress, p. 166K&OR 68: Chernik – The Body Politic, p. 575
K&OR 31: Bell & Orza – Understanding Positive Women’s Realities, p. 247
JS 15: HIV/AIDS, p. 48
|F 3/1||K&OR 29: Reis – Young Women’s Eggs: Elite and Ordinary, p. 241K&OR 66: Hartmann & Barajas-Roman – Reproductive Justice Not Population Control, p. 546
DUE: Beyond the Classroom Write-up I, 5 pm on Blackboard
DUE: Mid-term Self-Evaluation
Unit 3: Globalization & Environmental Justice are Women’s Issues
Week 8: Health and Food Justice
|M 3/4||Unit 2 Exam|
|W 3/6||K&OR Chapter 11 Introduction, p. 503K&OR 62: Steingarber – Rose Moon, p. 516
JS 14: Breast Cancer, p. 46
|F 3/8||K&OR 63: Sze – Gender, Asthma, Politics, p. 525Cogan – Research on Weight Supports a Paradigm Shift
BB Health at Every Size
Spring Break: 3/11 – 3/15
Week 9: Globalization & Consumption
|M 3/18||K&OR Chapter 8 Introduction, p. 363K&OR 49: Shiva – Building Water Democracy, p. 412
JS 27: Water, p. 76
|W 3/20||K&OR 48: Ngai – Made in China, p. 404K&OR 65: Allen & Sachs – Women and Food Chains, p. 536
JS 24: Fieldwork, p. 68
|F 3/22||K&OR 47: Biemann – Remotely Sensed: A Topography of the Global Sex Trade, p. 400K&OR 37: Segato – Territory, Sovereignty, and Crimes of the Second State, p. 297
JS 9: Murder, p. 10
JS 19: Global Sex Trafficking, p. 56
Week 10: Migration & Global Women’s Movements
|M 3/25||K&OR 44: Anzaldua – The Homeland: Atzlan/El Otro Mexico, p. 383K&OR 46: Parreñas – The Care Crisis in the Philippines, p. 391
JS 26: Migration, p. 72
JS 33: Poverty, p. 88
|W 3/27||K&OR 45: Patel – Shilling Love, p. 389K&OR 74: Antrobus – The Global Women’s Movement: Definitions and Origins, p. 608
JS 28: Literacy, p. 78
JS 29: School, p. 80
JS 30: Higher Education, p. 82
JS 40: Feminist Organizing, p. 104
|F 3/29||Good Friday Holiday – No Class|
Unit 4: Violence in Its Many Forms
Week 11: State Violence, Crime, and Prisons
|M 4/1||Easter Holiday – No Class|
|W 4/3||K&OR Chapter 9 Introduction, p. 417K&OR 55: Sudbury – Women of Color, Globalization, and the Politics of Incarceration, p. 452|
|F 4/5||K&OR 50: Buck – Prison Life: A Day, p. 432K&OR 52: Law – Barriers to Basic Care, p. 439|
Week 12: Domestic Violence, Abuse, and Rape
|M 4/8||K&OR 51: James – A Mother’s Love, p. 435K&OR 54: Rabin – Disappearing Parents, p. 449|
|W 4/10||K&OR Chapter 6 Introduction, p. 259K&OR 33: Smith – Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide, p. 274
K&OR 34: Morales – Radical Pleasure: Sex and the End of Victimhood, p.
JS 7: Domestic Violence, p. 28
|F 4/12||K&OR 22: Serano – Why Nice Guys Finish Last, p. 198K&OR 35: Grove – Engaging Men Against Violence, p. 284
K&OR 36: Kim – Alternative Interventions to Violence: Creative Interventions, p. 36
JS 20: Rape, p. 58
BB “The Man Box” YouTube video
Week 13: Militarism and War
|M 4/15||K&OR Read: Chapter 10 Introduction, p. 465|
|W 4/17||K&OR 58: Lacsamana – Empire on Trial: The Subic Rape Case, p. 486K&OR 59: Joya – A Bird with One Wing, p. 493
K&OR 61: Gender and Human Security, p. 500
JS 38: Crisis Zones, p. 100
|F 4/19||K&OR 56: Enloe – Sneak Attack: The Militarization of US Culture, p. 481K&OR 57: Bhagawati – Belonging, p. 482
K&OR 60: Howe – Mother’s Day Proclamation, p. 500
JS 39: Women in the Military, p. 102
Unit 5: Damaging Representations
Week 14: Women and Popular Culture
|M 4/22||Unit 3-4 Exam|
|W 4/24||BB Kilbourne – “The More You Subtract, The More You Add”K&OR 26: Riley – The Black Beauty Myth, p. 227|
|F 4/26||K&OR 23: Levy – Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, p. 195K&OR 53: Joseph and D’Harlingue – Media Representations and the Criminalization of Arab Americans and Muslim Americans, p. 446
Unit 6: Who Will Our Daughters Be? Women, Gender & Feminisms for the Future
Week 15: Critical Activism for the Future
|M 4/29||K&OR Chapter 12 Introduction, p. 562K&OR 70: Goddard – Staging Activism: New York City Performing Artists as Cultural Workers, p. 585|
|W 5/1||K&OR 69: Yep – The Power of Collective Expression, p. 579K&OR 71: Ishayik – Changing the Face of Leadership, p. 595
K&OR 73: Lewis – Meeting the Leadership Challenges of Women with Disabilities, p. 605
|F 5/3||K&OR 20: Lorde – Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, p. 183K&OR 72: Cachola et al. – Women Working Across Borders for Peace, p. 600
DUE: Beyond the Classroom Write-up II, 5 pm on Blackboard.