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Global Feminisms

ENGL 2405.401
crosslisted as: GSWS 2405
instructor(s):
MW 10:15-11:44am
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Elective of the Standard Major
Cross Cultural Requirement of the College's General Education Curriculum

Feminism has both united women and also generated debates between women of different races, locations and sexual orientations, across the world, and also within the US. Feminism means both understanding the construction of gender and sexuality in society, and challenging the oppressive structures that constrain people of all genders. As such, there can be no single feminism that is globally relevant. How should we, located in a prestigious US university, locate our own ideas about gender and sexuality in a global framework? Each week we will engage with a piece of work—fiction, autobiography, film, historical or activist writing--from a different part of the world. Through them we will explore how histories of colonialism, slavery and race, nation-making and war have led to very different conceptions of the family, sexuality, gender identities the body, labor, and agency around the world. Texts and films will likely include: Domitila Barrios de Chúngara, Let Me Speak; Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class; Urvashi Butalia, The Other Side of Silence; Veronique Tadjo, Queen Pokou; Saidiya Hartmann, Lose Your Mother; Joan Scott, The Politics of the Veil; Gaiutra Bahadur, Coolie Woman, The Odyssey of Indenture; Marjane Satrapi Persepolis; Marijie Meerman, Chain of Love; Ousmane Sembene Moolade; A. Revathi, The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story; Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy. Satisfies the Cross-Cultural Requirement of the College's General Education Curriculum; Fulfills Sectors 1 and 2 of the English major.