Foundations in Gender Studies I (2017/18)

Course Description: 

This is an introductory course, which is designed to familiarize students 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 in an effort to introduce students to the variety of ways in which, throughout the past decades, thinking about these issues has changed.  In the second part of the course we’ll explore several different types of argumentations on the meaning of gender, the woman question and women’s emancipation.  We’ll follow a historical path of feminist theory 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 trends in each set of argument and try to follow how they got transformed as they traveled to different locations and through time.   In the third part of the course we address a handful of popular concepts, which students will encounter in the rest of their studies and while writing their MA papers: “patriarchy”, the “public/private divide,” “emancipation” and “intersectionality”.  By the end of the course students will be able to use these terms in a thoughtful and nuanced way informed by their scholarly critique and history.

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 by scholars whose work is considered foundational in the field.  In terms of skills, student will learn and practice  how to formulate arguments, how to critically analyze scholarly texts and how to write short essays on the topics reviewed in the course. 

Assessment: 

Requirements and grading:

Your grade will comprise of the following elements:

  • Active participation in class which demonstrates your familiarity with the material assigned, including uploads to class website– about 20% of grade
  • Midterm exam (short answer exam around week 5)- about 30%
  • Final take home essay exam – about 50%