ANT 391 • Feminist Theory
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
This seminar, titled Feminist Theory, addresses feminist works that influence our work as sociologists. The issues that we will raise in the seminar are not exhaustive, but instead, my hope is that our readings will foster significant reconsiderations of the ways we envision social theory, and social research. The hope is this reconfiguration of doing research, or thinking about knowledge production will lead us into generating more thoughtful, politically relevant work on various fronts. In a sense, there are two purposes to this seminar? a) rethinking social categories, such as performance, the state, citizenship, etc. from a feminist perspective; and b) rethinking ways by which we can do research from a feminist standpoint.
Participants in this seminar will note that not all the readings we do are by women; moreover, the readings are not organized along racial lines, or national lines as well. We will bring in Third World feminists in dialogue with white women academics. For example, we will read debates on abortion by Susan Bordo and Nivedita Menon for the same class. Or we will intersperse Sonia Alvarez?s work with Gilligan?s writings on gendered caring. Through class discussions, we will untangle the racial/ class/ national specificities of these works, contextualizing them in their own specific histories.
Included here is a tentative list only! I still need to lay the outlines of which readings, and how to use them. Difference vs. Equality Feminists 1. Nancy Chodorow, 1978. The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender. University of California Press. 2. Carol Gilligan?s In a Different Voice. 3. Spelman?s Inessential Woman. 4. Nancy Fraser, Justice Interruptus. 5. Sonia Alvarez, Engendering Democracy. Standpoint Theory 1. Nancy Hartsock?s Stand point theory 2. Patricia Hill Collins 3. Ruth Frankenberg 4. Dorothy Smith Gender and Performance 1. Judith Butler?s ?Gender is Burning,? from Bodies that Matter. Doing Feminist Sociology 1. Judith Stacey?s article ?The missing feminist revolution in sociology.? 2. Chandra Mohanty?s ?Under Western Eyes.? 3. --- ? ---- ?? (tie to standpoint). 4. Marjorie DeVault, ?Talking back to sociology.? Also see newer article in G&S, and Signs. 5. Check essays in Grewal and Kaplan?s Scattered Hegemonies.? On narratives 1. Sandra Lee Bartky. ?Sympathy and Solidarity: On a Tight Rope with Scheler,? in Feminists Rethink The Self, edited by Diane Tietjens Meyers, (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997). 2. Kaufman?s ?The Long Goodbye.? Feminist theories of the state and citizenship 1. McKinnon?s Towards a Feminist Theory of the State. 2. Pateman?s The Sexual Contract. 3. Excerpts from Borders and Boundaries 4. Susan Bordo?s ?Are Mothers Persons?? 5. Charrad?s State and Women?s Rights. 6. Nira Yuval-Davis and Werbner?s Women, Citizenship and Difference. Imagined Communitie and how gender plays out. 1. Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, Intro, Chapter 3, 4, 10, 11 2. Franz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth. Pitfalls of National Consciousness to the end. 3. Ann Stoler?s Race and the Education of Desire?Chapters 4 and 5 4. Chatterjee?s ?Resolution of the Woman Question?, or/ and 5. Tanika Sarkar?s Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation Citizenship and violence 1. Embodied Violence, edited by Jayawardena and Alwis. The notion of reproductive ?choice? and freedom. 1. Nivedita Menon?s essay on female foeticide 2. Bordo?s ?Are Mothers Persons?? Defining ?community? rights. 1. Uniform Civil Code in India (the Shah Bano case). 2. Appelbaum?s article on multiculturalism and flexibility