Feminist Theory


University of Pittsburgh

Spring 2012, Fall 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2010

Course website + syllabus

This course will familiarize students with the debates, key concepts, and conflicts that have informed contemporary articulations of feminist discourse. Rather than presume the content of the term “feminist theory,” the course will interrogate the politics of what and who is attributed to this name in an effort to work through the political, cultural, economic, and academic work that this term does. Through discussion, class presentations, and research assignments, students will explore the varied ways gender, feminism, and theory are produced through constellations of nation, race, citizenship, sexuality, and class in different historical and cultural contexts. The course will foreground the relationship between theory, social justice, and activism and explore how these can be mutually-informing projects.

Topics covered will include the production of racialized, gendered, and sexualized bodies through cultural technologies; biopower; marxism and dialectical materialism; liberalism, social contract theory, and their critiques; the prison-industrial-military-education complex; feminism in/and/of war; citizenship and mobility; art and social justice projects; and the role of theory and activism in the remaking of social imaginaries. Students will be responsible for using, critiquing, and transforming the ideas presented in order to imagine, research, and articulate their own intellectual projects.