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INTRODUCTION TO FEMINIST THEORY SWMS 301mgPROFESSOR KARINA EILERAAS KARAKUŞSPRING 2019Course Schedule: M,W 2:00-3:20 PMCourse Classroom: MHP 101TA Sections: F 10-10:50 AM VKC 252F 11-11:50 AM VKC 252F 12-12:50 AM VKC 252F 2-2:50 PM VKC 252F 3-3:50 PM VKC 252Office: THH 413 (Taper Hall of Humanities) Office Hours: M, W 12-1 PM (please schedule appointments via email)Email: [email protected]“But then, what is philosophy today - philosophical activity, I mean - if it is not the criticalwork of thought on itself? And if it does not consist in the endeavour of knowing how and towhat extent it might be possible to think differently, rather than legitimating what is alreadyknown?”-Michel FoucaultCourse Description:This course will provide students with an overview of historical and contemporary debates within feminist theory and praxis. Our discussions will use an intersectional lens to target three thematic nodes: body; nation; and representation. Our aim in this course will be to ask “how and to what extentit might be possible to think differently” about a range of philosophical, political, and aesthetic issuescentral to feminist and queer inquiry, including the framing of masculinity, femininity, and sexuality relative to normative conceptions of “beauty”, “difference”, and “deviance” in medicine and popular culture; feminist, queer and trans epistemologies and their relation to normative discourses of gender and embodiment; sexual violence, fantasy, and the gaze; music, film, performance studies and celebrity culture; the role of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity vis-à-vis nationalism, transnational trauma, exile and revolution; Orientalism, colonization, and visual culture; international human rights, religion, and globalization; the interface between sexuality, technology, and cyberspace; gender and cultural memory; porn and sex work; fashion; nude protest, social media, body politics, and the evolving forms, tactics, and meanings of transnational feminist praxis in the digital age. This course will encourage students to critically evaluate competing formulations of “truth” and “difference” with respect to the geopolitics of knowledge production. More broadly, it will encouragestudents to evaluate conflicting histories and understandings of gender, sexuality, and the body by approaching theory as an ongoing conversation, and as an epistemological site embedded in material and political practices. This class is interdisciplinary and multi-media in scope, as we will examine a variety of cultural texts including theoretical essays, film, visual culture, music and performance, digital media and popular culture.Learning Objectives:1
Critical Thinking: identifying and assessing arguments, paying attention to underlying assumptions; identifying the essential elements of a concept, idea, or text; marshaling appropriate evidence to develop a persuasive argumentFeminist Theories and Methodologies: understanding a broad range of feminist theories, especially