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WGSS 260
Power, Feminist-Style Fall 2019
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 260 / PSCI 260

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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, Audre Lorde, Catherine MacKinnon, Hannah Arendt, and Patricia Hill Collins.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1458
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: eight short writing assignments (ranging from 250 words to 750 words), drafting and revision of a 10 pg final essay
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 260 Division II PSCI 260 Division II
WS Notes: This course aims to carefully unpack the writing process by focusing on particular elements of writing (summary, critical analysis) while also introducing students to tools they can use to improve their writing (freewriting). Short writing assignments like the proposal, outline, and abstract build on one another and culminate in a final essay that goes through the process of drafting and, after peer and teacher review, revision.
DPE Notes: 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.
Attributes: WGSS Theory Courses

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