Feminist Methods of Inquiry

Co-taught course with Liz Montegary

This course is an investigation into how feminist intervention has changed the nature of disciplinary knowledge. It will familiarize students with some of the methodological approaches to feminist scholarship in the disciplines and look at how feminism has helped shape the rise of institutionalized interdisciplinary study. We will concentrate on several disciplines in order to gain a sense of what they were like before the intervention of feminist scholarship and then how they look—in the books they produce, scholarship they produce, courses they offer, etc. after a gendered analysis is introduced into the curriculum. The disciplines of History, Literature, and Science form our core nugget in the first part of the course. After exploring the shape-shifting that has taken and continues to take place in these disciplinary sites, we will conduct a class internet project on the nature of interdisciplinary scholarship. This project will be of particular interest for students considering the pursuit of graduate school opportunities in any field.

The course will conclude by offering students a chance to select a research project dealing with a discipline (or interdisciplinary field) that holds special interest to them. Examples could include Anthropology, Religion, Law, Textiles, Business, Asian-American Studies, Animal Studies/Veterinary Science, Psychology, or even Women’s Studies and Queer Studies as they have developed in the academy through the years. Throughout the class we will look at how knowledge and cultural critique are produced, consumed, and circulated. The class is intended for WMS majors and presumes some theoretical background knowledge in women’s, gender and sexuality studies. This is not a lecture class—it is student driven. Your questions, curiosities, enthusiasms, contributions, preparation, and commitments will determine its success. It will be run in variations of seminars style (small group discussion, large class discussions, group presentations, etc.) and students should expect their own enthusiasm and participation to structure many of the class sessions.

  • Categories:
  • University:
    University of California, Davis
  • When:
    Winter 2007