The goal of the course ‘Theories of Gender’ is to introduce students to a complex field of theories that make up Gender Studies and to analyse these theories in their historical and cultural ... read more
The goal of the course ‘Theories of Gender’ is to introduce students to a complex field of theories that make up Gender Studies and to analyse these theories in their historical and cultural contexts. What holds the various strands of Gender Studies together is their attempt to not only add a body of knowledge to existing ones, but to also investigate the implications of the various theoretical stances. The course will therefore examine these various theories as ‘lenses’ – how they work, what concepts they prioritise, and how they change our perceptions when we put them on. The aim is to apply the diverse explanatory frameworks and think about their strengths as well as limitations.
Two concepts that will be central to the discussions are ‘difference’ and ‘intersectionality.’ How has ‘difference’ (between femininity and masculinity, or between the category ‘woman’ and what lies outside of it) been conceptualised in various theories, and in what ways has it been a key site of both regulation and transgression? Furthermore, in what ways are gender and sexuality tied up with other forms of identification, such as race, ethnicity, class, age or nationality? We will consider intersections with other theories such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, Foucaultian analysis, New Historicism and postcolonial theories, among others.
As introductory readings I recommend Tina Chanter, Gender: Key Concepts in Philosophy (Continuum, 2006) and/or David Glover and Cora Kaplan, Genders (Routledge 2000). For a selection of readings, Carole Mccann and Seung-kyung Kim, eds., Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2009) is a good starting point.
Readings will be posted on Blackboard. close