Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 592: Women's and Gender Studies: Feminist Theory and Practice

Instructor: Chadwick Roberts

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of feminist scholarship with an emphasis on the interconnectedness of gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. Special emphasis is given to the history of the women's movement in the United States as well and the need for continued collective action locally and globally to effect social and cultural change toward gender equality. In addition, the course will consider constructions of masculinity, critiques of Western feminism, and offer an introduction to Third World and transnational feminist thought and action.

Required Texts

  • Audre, Lorde. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press Feminist Series) (2007)
  • Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Conciousness, and Politics of Empowerment (2008)
  • Freedman, Estelle. The Essential Feminist Reader (2007)
  • Hooks, Bell. Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics (2000)
  • Mohanty, Chandra Talpade. Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (2003)
  • Rosen, Ruth. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women's Movement Changed America (2000)


Critical Reading Responses (4 over the semester):

Students will respond to 4 assigned readings with a 2-3 page critical essay (20%)

Leading Class Discussion:

Students will be responsible for leading at least one day of class discussion and will produce a handout for the class that summarizes the assigned reading and poses 5-6 thoughtful discussion quesions. (20%)

Applied Learning Content:

Students will complete 8-12 hours of service learning through Coastal Horizons. Upon completion each student will compose a 3-page reflection paper connecting their experiences to one or more of the course readings. (20%)

Final Research Project:

Students will compose a 20-25 page paper expanding on one or more of the themes/issues covered in the course. (30%)

Final Project Presentation:

Each student will present a 10-12 minute audience-centered presentation of their research project including an AV component. (10%)

Student Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the semester students will be able to

  • demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the history of the Women's movement in the U.S.
  • effectively articulate ongoing issues within current women's rights movements, both nationally and internationally.
  • show knowledge in writing and in discussion of the cultural construction of masculinities and the implications of these constructions on both men and wormen.
  • effectively write on and speak on the awareness of critiques of western feminism.
  • demonstrate awareness of Third World and transnational feminist perspectives.
  • demonstrate their ability to think and write critically on feminist issues.

Last Update: April 2, 2012