Foundations in Gender Studies I (2018/19)

Course Description: 

This is an introductory course, which is designed to familiarize you with some of the basic concepts and arguments in the broad interdisciplinary field of “gender studies”.   The first part of the course will address different understandings of the concept of sex/gender/feminism in order to introduce students to the variety of ways in which, throughout the past decades, thinking about these concepts has changed.  In the second part of the course we will explore argumentations on the meaning of patriarchy, the woman question and women’s emancipation.  We’ll follow a historical path of feminist theorizing originating from western Anglo-Saxon countries reviewing liberal/neo-liberal, socialist/Marxist, radical, post-colonial/post-socialist views on a variety of topics.  We’ll identify the key assumptions and claims in each set of argument and try to follow how they got transformed as they traveled to different locations and through time.   By the end of the course students will have read and be able to use some of the basic theories and concepts in gender studies in a nuanced way informed by their scholarly critique and history.

Teaching Assistant: Tegiye Birey

Learning Outcomes: 

The course provides students with the basic concepts in the field of gender studies.  Students will acquire the most important theories and arguments put forth (primarily) by “western” scholars whose work is considered foundational in the field.  In terms of skills, student will learn and practice how to formulate arguments, how to read, understand and critically analyze scholarly texts and how to write short essays on the topics reviewed in the course.


Your grade will comprise of the following elements (with some % added, which is just for your information.  I will handle percentages loosely.)

  • Active participation in class, which demonstrates your familiarity with the material assigned (15%)
  • Completing 6 of the 11 mini assignments on time (20%).
  • First exam - about (25%)
  • Second exam – about (40%)