The purpose of this course is to give students a foundational understanding of the key debates that have occupied feminist theory in recent decades. The course will cover a range of twentieth- and twenty-first-century feminist theory. Over the course of the semester, we will discuss the intellectual traditions that inform feminist thought, the theoretical and political investments of early academic feminism, and more recent debates about gender, race, power, sexuality, and “women’s studies” as a field of inquiry. We will also analyze the relationship between feminist theory and women’s political and social issues through the lens of some contemporary films. Students will write several short essays.