Graduate seminars

Feminist Interdisciplinary Histories and Methods (WST 600)

Wednesdays 4:00-6:50 Spring 2016

Rather than begin with an exploration of “the” feminist methodology in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, or an account of “the” history of feminism, this course will explore what counts as “history,” as “method,” and as “evidence” in feminist scholarship. Since its emergence as a distinct knowledge project within the academy, feminism has sought to raise questions about how we know what we know, who gets to speak and for whom, and what are legitimate objects of study and fields of inquiry. Our goal will not be to seek answers to these (and other) questions, but to trace some of the ways in which feminist scholars have sought to intervene in debates about both the what and how of knowledge production in its many (inter-trans-multi-)disciplinary forms. A central part of the feminist project has been an engagement in self-reflexive questioning of the status, history, theories, methods, attachments, and aspirations of feminist scholarship. This course will continue that practice. To that end, students are encouraged to engage with the material with their own projects in mind, and to reflect on the histories and methods they are drawn to in their own work.


Course texts:

  • Djebar, Assia. Fantasia: An Algerian Cavalcade (New York: Heinemann, 1993).
  • Freccero, Carla. Queer/Early/Modern (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006).
  • Gordon, Avery F. Ghostly Matters: Haunting and the Sociological Imagination
  • (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996).
  • Mol, Annemarie. The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2002).
  • Povinelli, Elizabeth. Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2011).
  • Riley, Denise. Am I that Name? Feminism and the Category of Women in History (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2003 [1988]).
  • Steedman, Carolyn Kay. Landscape for a Good Woman (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987).
  • Viego, Antonio. Dead Subjects: Toward a Politics of Loss in Latino Studies (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2007).