Fall 2013 -
Undergraduate Course Description
Discipline and Number
4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
|GENDER IN WESTERN THOUGHT
DESCRIPTION OF COURSE:
In this class we will explore what people have thought and written about gender and gender roles from Plato and Aristotle to Halberstam and Butler, and situate those ideas in a historical context. We will consider how gender has been constructed, and what people have claimed as the source and function of gender and gender differences. We will also study the major recent and current schools of thought on what gender is and does and what it should be and do and sort through the main debates between them.
--Students will be able to recognize and describe some gendered aspects of western thought from antiquity to today
--Students will form an understanding of how changing conceptions of gender relate to major social, political and cultural shifts
--Students will have an overview of recent trends in gender studies including the major areas of agreement and conflict between different theorists and theories.
COURSE & INSTRUCTOR POLICIES:
--This is a reading intensive class. You will be expected to come to class having read the assignment for that day at least once.
--Play nice. We are all responsible for making the classroom a safe and constructive arena for discussion. Engagement with the material is necessary, animated discussion is encouraged; rudeness is unacceptable.
- Some of the readings are controversial; some contain explicit material, graphic language and ideas that may appear odd or disconcerting. We are reading these texts not to be persuaded by them, but to understand what the authors believed and why. If you have concerns, talk to me about them.
Tentative reading list:
- Linda Nicholson, ed. The Second Wave. London; New York: Routledge, 1997. (TSW)
- Lisa di Caprio and Merry E. Wiesner, eds. Lives and Voices. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2001. (LaV)
- Online Course Packet with a selection of readings by, e.g.:
St Augustine, Thomas of Aquinas, Baldessar Castiglioni, Christian de Pizan, Marguerite de Navarre, François Poullain de la Barre, Anna Schurmann, John Locke, David Hume, Catherine Macaulay, Jacques Rousseau, Soujourner Truth, Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Rudyard Kipling, Karl Marx, Alexandra Kollontai, Sigmund Freud, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Monique Wittig, Hélène Cixous, Germaine Greer, bell hooks, Judith Halberstam, Judith Butler, Michael Warner, Susan Bordo, Gloria Anzaldúa
ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING:
Attendance and in class discussion
Several shorter and at least one longer paper
Midterm and final exams