This course offers a critical introduction to several major traditions of western social thought from a feminist perspective. This course is not a comprehensive survey nor is does it provide an exhaustive history. Rather, we will focus on several key philosophical and theoretical traditions and the ways that feminist, queer, and postcolonial theorists have played a role in producing, shaping, and transforming them.
Topics engaged will include Marxism and materialist accounts of cultural life, psychoanalysis and its discontents, existentialism and feminist ethics, phenomenology and the lived body, deconstruction, and feminist cultural studies. We will examine the ways that gender, race, class, sexuality, and nation are produced through histories of colonialism, transnational mobilities, legal practices, and cultural productions.
We will pay particular attention to the role of the body in our various fields of study, examining the ways that differences between the fields can often be marked by differences in their understanding of bodies and the varying significances they attribute them.