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WGSS 139
Living a Feminist Life Spring 2020
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed ENGL 139 / COMP 139 / WGSS 139

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The course invites students to consider the range of ways in which “knowledge” about women’s, femme’s and non-binary lives has been constructed in text, and how this knowledge determines and impacts the we have and make. The first half of the course is organized around a deep reading of Sara Ahmed’s recent theoretical book, Living a Feminist Life, while the second half of the course will examine a spectrum of women’s life writing-poetry, music, journalism, theory, and memoir-to discover how text continues to shape feminist lives, and how femmes’ lived experience in turn shapes feminist discourse. Course materials for the second half of the semester will be generated in part through discussion and students’ suggestions. Key texts will include Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, Djamila Boupacha’s memoir, Ana Lily Amirpour’s film A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Sara Ahmed’s Living a Feminist Life, Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto, and bell hooks’s Teaching to Transgress. In their writing for this course, students will consider how their own intimate relationships-with parents, partners, children, neighbors, or friends-can become sites of feminist activism, and sources of strength and knowledge to be carried into the broader world of public engagement and intervention. In the final weeks of the course, we will collectively interrogate the (false) boundary between writing and living as modes of feminist praxis.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3707
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: five short written assignments and one final research project
Prerequisites: none
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 139 Division I COMP 139 Division I WGSS 139 Division II
WS Notes: This course will center writing and research skills with at least one session per week devoted to ladder development and revision. Five short papers (3-4 pages) with one revision (5-6 pages) as well as a bibliography and final research paper (12-15 pages).
DPE Notes: This course will examine the generative intersectional site of feminism, antiracism, and anticapitalism to provide an alternative introduction to feminist thought, writing, and practice. The syllabus centers women and femme writers of color.
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories C

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