Division II; Writing-Intensive; Difference, Power, and Equity;
Cross-listed as PSCI260 / WGSS260
This course examines one of the most important concepts in the analysis of sex and gender and efforts to envision sexual and gender justice–the concept of power–from multiple feminist perspectives. At the core of feminism lies the critique of inequitable power relations. Some feminists claim that power itself is the root of all evil and that a feminist world is one without power. Others portray the feminist agenda as one of taking power, or of reconstructing society by exercising a specifically feminist mode of power. In this course, we will look at feminist critiques of power, how feminists have employed notions of power developed outside of the arena of feminist thought, and efforts to develop specifically feminist ideas of power. Along the way, we will ask: Are some concepts of power more useful to feminism? Can certain forms of power be considered more feminist than others? How can feminist power be realized? Thinkers we will engage include Judith Butler, bell hooks, Catherine MacKinnon, Hannah Arendt, and Gloria E. Anzaldúa.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class facilitation, critical reflections (four 3- to 4-page assignments), review of peer's essay (2-3 pages), essay draft and revision (8-10 pages)
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Enrollment Preference: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive; Difference, Power, and Equity;
Distribution Notes: DPE: This course requires students to focus on what power does and should look like from the perspective of difference, exploring the relationship between power and equity in the process. Students will reflect on and discuss the working of power in their own lives, why certain forms of power are more or less visible to particular groups, and how different ideas about power promote different interests in society at large. WI: Writing assignments train students' attention on various elements of argumentation and style and involve peer and teacher review and revision.
Attributes: WGSS Theory Courses