Fall ’18 Grad Seminar: “Intersectionality Today” (GSWS2240)

Prof. Melanie Hughes

Tuesday 2:30-5:00 

The term ‘intersectionality’ was coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw to theorize the experiences of Black women in the U.S. In the years since, intersectionality has spread, taking root in a wide range of disciplines and parts of the world. Yet, what intersectionality means, to whom it should be applied, and how it should be studied all are hotly contested. In this course, we will examine intersectionality today, engaging with current thinking, research, and debates. Drawing on a range of materials such as scholarly texts and film, we will investigate intersectionality in its different representations, including perspectives of anti-racist feminists from the global South. We will also touch on a wide range of ways of “doing intersectional scholarship,” including textual analysis, visual arts, ethnography, archival research, and quantitative analysis. Although attention will be paid to a wide range of identities and social locations (for example, race, ethnicity, class, religion, language, and disability), this is a GSWS course, so gender and sexuality are foregrounded. In addition to completing course reading and participating in class discussions, students are expected to develop projects in their home discipline(s).

“GSWS2252: Theories of Gender and Sexuality” will be offered on Thursday, 6-8:30pm in fall term ‘18.

Coming in *Spring ’19: “Historicizing Feminist Theory” (Laura Lovett)

This course will consider the histories of feminisms as well as the development of different feminist theories. By considering theorists in relation to each other and to their historical context, we will assess what might be useful in their approaches to creating a critical vision for imagining political, economic, personal, sexual and social equity. We will trace the development of a variety of feminisms including liberal feminism, radical feminism, black and women of color feminism, and transnational feminism. We will then explore how feminist theories, such as standpoint theory, intersectionality, performance theory, and queer and trans theory, developed in their historical context.