Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
15 May 2019
Requisites for this module
BA VV15 Philosophy and History,
BA VV16 Philosophy and History (Including Placement Year),
BA VV51 Philosophy and History (Including Foundation Year),
BA VV5C Philosophy and History (Including Year Abroad),
BA VV5X Philosophy and History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
LLB MV16 Law with Philosophy,
LLB MV18 Law with Philosophy (Including Year Abroad),
LLB MV19 Law with Philosophy (Including Placement Year)
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.
No information available.
By the end of the module students should be able in their essay and exam work to:
• to summarise in their own words and critically assess the principal theories and philosophical perspectives examined in this course;
• 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);
• to offer detailed philosophical analysis and critique of journal articles published in the field;
• 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:
• define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant;
• seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information;
• process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments;
• compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure;
• write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications;
• be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them;
• think 'laterally' and creatively - see interesting connections and possibilities and present these clearly rather than as vague hunches;
• maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position if shown wrong;
• think critically and constructively.
Incoming Study Abroad students must have already taken two Philosophy modules at their home institution.
Please note that this module will require a high level of commitment from the students enrolled. This will include keeping up with the pace of weekly readings, as assessed by an in-class test.
1 x 2-hour lecture and 1 x 1-hour seminar each week, except Week 8 which is Reading Week.
The two-hour weekly lectures will often be interactive: you are expected to have read the key text(s) for each week in advance, to be active during class and bring a copy of the required weekly reading(s).
In addition, there will be a one-hour seminar session each week, which will include oral presentations followed by peer feedback and group discussion of the week's topic and readings. Those not presenting will be expected to offer constructive feedback on their classmates' presentations, and to be prepared for discussion of the key readings.
- 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-
- Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. (2014) We should all be feminists, London: Fourth Estate.
- de Beauvoir, Simone. (1993) The Second Sex, London: David Campbell.
- Finlayson, Lorna. (c2015) An introduction to feminism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. Cambridge introductions to philosophy
- Fraser, Nancy. (2014) 'Behind Marx's Hidden Abode', in New Left Review. vol. 86
- Rae Langton. (1993) '"Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts", in Philosophy & Public Affairs', in Philosophy & Public Affairs: Wiley. vol. 22 (4) , pp.293-330
- Okin, Susan Moller. (1991) 'John Rawls: Justice as Fairness - For Whom?', in Feminist interpretations and political theory, Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Nussbaum, Martha. (1995) 'Objectification', in Philosophy & Public Affairs: Wiley. vol. 24 (4) , pp.249-
- Judith Butler. (1990) 'Chapter 1: Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire', in Gender Trouble: Feminism and the subversion of identity: Routledge.
- (no date) We should all be feminists | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | TEDxEuston - YouTube.
- 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
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
||2000 Word Essay
||Group Presentation TOTAL
||Group Presentations (Week 4)
||Group Presentations (Week 5)
||Group presentations (Week 6)
||Group Presentations (Week 7)
||Group Presentations (Week 9)
||Group presentations (Week 10)
||Group Presentations (Week 11)
||Group presentations (week 3)
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Lorna Finlayson
Dr Thomas Joseph Stern
University College London
Available via Moodle
Of 24 hours, 24 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
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