PSCI 236
Feminist Legal Theory Spring 2024
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 236
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

What can a critical analysis of gender and sexuality bring to the study of law, constitutions, legal interpretation, and the task of judging? Well-known contributions by feminist theorists include the conceptualization and critique of anti-discrimination frameworks, the legal analysis of intersecting systems of social subordination (particularly gender, race, class, sexuality, disability), and the theorization of “new” categories of rights (e.g. sexuate rights). Accompanying these interventions in the legal field is a deep and sustained inquiry into the subject of law: Who can appear before the law as the proper bearer of civil and human rights? What kinds of violations and deprivations can be recognized as harms in need of redress? Who gets to make these judgments, and according to what rules? While our examples will be drawn mainly from family law, the regulation of sex/reproduction, and workplace discrimination, the main task of this course will be to deepen our understanding of how the subject of law is constituted. Illustrative cases to aid our inquiry will be drawn primarily from the USA and Canada, with additional examples from India, South Africa, and possibly European law. Theorists we read will represent many kinds of feminist work that intersect with the legal field, including academic studies in political theory, philosophy, and cultural theory, along with contributions from community organizers engaged in anti-violence work and social justice advocacy.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3687
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: One oral presentation; three 6-8 page papers; regular class participation.
Prerequisites: None.
Enrollment Preferences: Preference will be given to PSCI and WGSS majors and JLST concentrators.
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 236 Division II PSCI 236 Division II
DPE Notes: The course analyzes the relationship between the legal system and social distributions of power, focusing on the way that inequalities based on gender, race, class and other forms of social stratification either enhance or limit individuals' access to legal protection and legal remedies.
Attributes: JLST Interdepartmental Electives
PSCI Political Theory Courses

Class Grid

Course Catalog Archive Search



Start Time
End Time