The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 17 December 2021
29 September 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

LLB MV06 Law with Philosophy (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MV16 Law with Philosophy,
LLB MV18 Law with Philosophy (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MV19 Law with Philosophy (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Feminism is a body of theory and practice aimed at illuminating and overcoming the oppression of women. This module will look at some of the main strands in modern feminist theory, and at the different ways in which they understand the nature, role and objectives of feminism.

Beyond the shared commitment to ending the oppression of women, feminists disagree on such central questions as: How and why are women oppressed? What steps are needed (and what steps are permissible) to end that oppression? Should we be aiming for freedom, or equality, or justice (and what do these terms mean)? What is a 'woman' (and should we even use the term)? What is the relationship between feminism and other theoretical and practical movements for social change such as struggles against racial oppression and imperialism?

These questions are best tackled by maintaining a dual focus on the practice as well as the theory of feminism, and by looking at contemporary feminism in the light of its long history.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able in their essay and exam work to:

1. to summarise in their own words and critically assess the principal theories and philosophical perspectives examined in this course;
2. to compare and evaluate conflicting accounts of the task and nature of feminism, and of specific issues such as the nature of womanhood, the relationship between sex and gender, and the ways in which feminism might relate to other theoretical and practical contributions to struggles against oppression (such as anti-capitalist and critical race theory);
3. to offer detailed philosophical analysis and critique of journal articles published in the field;
4. to demonstrate an understanding of the relation between feminist theory and practice by relating, for example, particular theories to their own experience.

By the end of the module, students should also have acquired a set of transferable skills, and in particular be able to:

1. define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant;
2. seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information;
3. process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments;
4. compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure;
5. write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications;
6. be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them;
7. think 'laterally' and creatively - see interesting connections and possibilities and present these clearly rather than as vague hunches;
8. maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position if shown wrong;
9. think critically and constructively.

Module information

Incoming Study Abroad students must have already taken two Philosophy modules at their home institution.

Learning and teaching methods

There will be a two-hour combined lecture and seminar each week and a separate one-hour class. Week 8 is Reading Week.


  • Rae Langton. (1993) 'Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts', in Philosophy & Public Affairs. vol. 22 (4) , pp.293-330
  • Crenshaw, Kimberle. (1991-07) 'Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color', in Stanford Law Review. vol. 43 (6) , pp.1241-
  • de Beauvoir, Simone. (1993) The Second Sex, London: David Campbell.
  • Fricker, Miranda. (2007) 'Testimonial Injustice', in Epistemic injustice: power and the ethics of knowing, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Haslanger, Sally. (2000-03) 'Gender and Race: (What) Are They? (What) Do We Want Them To Be?', in Nous. vol. 34 (1) , pp.31-55
  • Nussbaum, Martha. (1995) 'Objectification', in Philosophy & Public Affairs: Wiley. vol. 24 (4) , pp.249-
  • Okin, Susan Moller. (1991) 'John Rawls: Justice as Fairness - For Whom?', in Feminist interpretations and political theory, Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Fraser, Nancy. (2017) 'Behind Marx's Hidden Abode: For an Expanded Conception of Capitalism', in Critical theory in critical times: transforming the global political and economic order, New York: Columbia University Press., pp.141-159

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay Plan (500 words)  13/12/2021   
Coursework   Essay (2500 word)  17/01/2022   

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Maria Popescu, email:
Amelia Horgan



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 973 hours, 18 (1.8%) hours available to students:
955 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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