Approved by Facutly Senate October 20, 2003

 

1.  Department or Program:  Political Science and Public Administration

 

2.  Course Number:   PS 450

 

3.  Semester Hours:   3

 

4.  Frequency of Offering:  Once every year

 

5.  Course Title:   Feminist Political Theory

 

6.  Catalog Description:  See catalog

 

7.  This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2?  Yes

 

8.  This is a new course proposal?  No

 

9.  University Studies Requirement this course would satisfy:  Writing Flag

 

10.  Department Contact Person:  Karen Csajko, 457-5404, kcsajko@winona.edu

 

11.  General Course Outcomes:  The purpose of this course is to help students understand the different and often conflicting responses to the exclusion of women from political activity and political theory.  Students compare and contrast various perspectives in order to analyze the assumptions, problems, and strengths of alternative feminist viewpoints. Students consider how the theory and activity of politics might be changed in ways that could invite the participation of all women.

 

12.  Course Outcomes:

 

a.  Practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in the field:  Most of the grade that a student receives in this course is based on an evaluation of written work.  Students write four ten-page papers over the course of the semester.  The papers are critical analyses in which each student compares and contrasts a number of scholarly articles, written from various perspectives, on major feminist issues.  Students have one week to write each paper, and are encouraged to submit rough drafts of their work to the professor for comment.  The professor comments extensively on each final paper, noting difficulties a student might have with constructing an argument, using sources properly, etc.  The comments are meant to help each student improve in the next written assignment.

 

In addition, students write questions each week on the material read for class.  The discussion questions are meant to help students learn to focus on the important issues in the scholarly articles which they have read.  This helps teach students how to focus on important issues when they write their papers.

 

b.  Understand main features and uses of writing in the field:  In the field of political science, and particularly in political theory, scholars write in order to better understand the practice of politics.  Since practice is based on theory, an important aspect of this is the analysis and creation of theories which can help us better understand politics.  Therefore, students in this course learn how to analyze theories by comparing and contrasting the ideas presented therein, and by considering the implications any theory has for political practice.

 

c.  Adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in the field:  The general expectation of readers in political science, and particularly political theory, is to encounter essays that deal carefully with original texts.   In addition, in feminist political theory, readers today expect that authors address the issues of race, class, and sexuality.  In the papers written for this course, students must read and then discuss a large number of diverse writings, and draw conclusions for the study and practice of politics from these materials.

 

d.  Make use of technologies commonly used for research and writing in the field:  In the field of political theory, books and journals are still the most prevalent sources used.  Students must use a number of different sources in writing the assigned papers, and use the proper citation format to indicate this.

 

e.  Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in the field:  Students must use the format preferred by journals in the field of political theory.

 

 

Feminist Political Theory

Political Science 450

 

Professor Karen Csajko                                                               Office 118 Minne

Spring 2002                                                                                         Phone 457-5404

 

 

Reading:  The texts for this course are:

 

A Room of One's One by  Virginia Woolf

 

Revisioning the Political:  Feminist Reconstructions of Traditional Concepts in Western Political Theory,  edited by Nancy J. Hirschmann and Christine DiStefano

 

Third Wave Agenda:  Being Feminist, Doing Feminism, edited by Leslie Heywood and Jennifer Drake

 

Feminist Theory Reader, edited by Carole R. McCann and Seung-Kyung Kim

 

There are also a number of supplementary readings.  These are required as well, and are noted in the schedule with an asterisk.

 

 

Assignments:  There will be four papers, approximately ten pages in length.  In addition, each student will be responsible for presenting discussion questions and participating in class discussion.

 

Papers:  Each paper will be an analysis written in response to a question submitted by the instructor.  The papers will be critical analyses -- in other words, papers will demonstrate that the student has read and thought about the texts; they will show some independent thought by the student, as each student attempts to wrestle with the difficult questions and problems that arise in the readings.

 

Discussion Questions:  Periodically, students will write discussion questions, which will address puzzling problems or issues which arise in the readings.  These questions will be presented to the rest of the class to discuss and consider.

 

Attendance and Participation:   Students are expected to attend class and to participate in class discussion.  The purpose of a theory course is to teach students not only to write and think critically, but also to discuss their ideas intelligently.  Students must demonstrate this in their in-class performance.  Therefore, students will be allowed up to three absences; absences above this will be reflected in the student's grade.

 

 

Grading:

 

Papers:              20% each, total 80%

Discussion Q's/

   Participation: 20%

 

 

This course meets the Writing Flag requirement of the University Studies Program.  As such, it includes requirements and learning activities that promote students’ abilities to:

 

a.  practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in the field;

 

b.  understand the main features and uses of writing in the field;

 

c.  adapt writing to the general expectations of readers in the field;

 

d.  make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in the field; and

 

e.  learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in the field.

 

 

Assignments and Writing Outcomes:   (Note:  The following are rough examples of the type of question students would be asked to explore in this course.  Of course, the actual questions would be more detailed, and would not contain the same wording, as is the case here.  This is meant to give an illustration of the way that these assignments do fulfill the requirements for the writing flag.)

 

Paper #1 (20%):  Write the first ten-page paper, discussing the debate whether a woman’s identity is necessary as a foundation for a feminist political movement.  Compare and contrast what the numerous authors have said regarding this issue.   Which authors had the best arguments, and why?  (Addresses writing outcomes a-e)

 

Paper #2 (20%):  Write a ten-page paper discussing the criticisms of third wave feminists against feminists of the second wave.  Compare and contrast what the numerous authors have said regarding this issue.  Which authors had the best arguments, and why?  (Addresses writing outcomes a-e)

 

Paper #3 (20%):  Write a ten-page paper discussing whether politics must be changed to include women’s values, such as care.  Compare and contrast what the numerous authors have said regarding this issue.  Which authors had the best arguments, and why?  (Addresses writing outcomes a-e).

 

Paper #4 (20%):  Write a ten-page paper discussing the relationship between feminist theory and feminist political movements.   Compare and contrast what the numerous authors have said regarding this issue.  Which authors had the best arguments, and why?  (Addresses writing outcomes a-e).

 

Discussion Questions (20%):  Write one-page discussion questions throughout the semester, concerning the complexities or problems you find in the weekly readings.  (Addresses writing outcomes b and c).

 

 

 

 

Schedule of Classes:

 

Introduction:  Androgyny, Multiplicity, and Difference

 

Week 1-2             Woolf, Room

                        Orlando  (film)

 

Week 3                         Beauvoir, “Introduction to Second Sex,” in McCann/Kim

                        *Chodorow, “Gender, Relation, and Difference”

                        *Ortner, “Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?”

 

Week 4                         Heywood/Drake, “America Like a Script,” in H/D

                        Aflatun, “Egyptian Women,” in McCann/Kim

                        Martinez, “La Chicana,” in McCann/Kim

                        hooks, “Feminism,” in McCann/Kim

                        Delphy, “Rethinking Sex and Gender,” in McCann/Kim

 

PAPER

 

 

Race and Nation

 

Week 5                         Combahee R. Collective, “Black F’ist Statement,” in Mc/Kim

                        Yamada, “Invisibility,” in McCann/Kim

                        Anzaldua, “New Consciousness,” in McCann/Kim

                        Lucas, “Islamic Identity,” in McCann/Kim

                        Dutt, “UN World Conference,” in McCann/Kim

 

Class

 

Week 6                         Hartmann, “Marxism & F’ism,” in McCann/Kim

                        Lim, “3rd World Women Workers,” in McCann/Kim

                        Molyneux, “Mobilization Without Emancipation?” in Mc/Kim

 

Sexuality

 

Week 7-8             Koedt, “Vaginal Orgasm,” in McCann/Kim

                        Wittig, “Not Born a Woman,” in McCann/Kim

                        Lorde, “Black Women Organizing,” in McCann/Kim

                        Gopinath, “Queer S.Asian Planet,” in McCann/Kim

                        San-Juan, “Going Home,” in McCann/Kim

                        Guess, “Deconstructing Me,” in Heywood/Drake

 

PAPER

 

Spring Break

 

 

Postmodernism

 

Week 9                         Mani, “Multiple Mediations,” in McCann/Kim

                        Scott, “Deconstructing Equality v. Difference,” in Mc/Kim

                        Alarcon,  This Bridge Called My Back,” in Mc/Kim

                        Sorisio, “Tale of Two Feminisms,” in Heywood/Drake

 

Standpoints

 

Week 10             Hartsock, “Feminist Standpoint,” in McCann/Kim

                        Narayan, “Feminist Epistemology,” in McCann/Kim

                        Collins, “Black Feminist Thought,” in McCann/Kim

                        Zinn/Dill, “Multiracial Feminism,” in McCann/Kim

 

Locations

 

Week 11             Jordan, “Bahamas,” in McCann/Kim

                        Rich, “Politics of Location,” in McCann/Kim

                        Mohanty, “F’st Encounters,” in McCann/Kim

                        Lee, “Beyond Bean Counting,” in McCann/Kim

                        Yukman, “Discontent, in Heywood/Drake

 

Care

 

Week 12             Tronto, "Care as a Political Concept," in Hirschmann/DiStefano

                        Hirschman, "Obligation," in Hirschmann/DiStefano

                        Young, "Reflections on Families," in Hirschmann/DiStefano

 

PAPER

 

 

Power

 

Week 13             Jones, “Authority’s Gender,” in Hirschmann/diStefano

                        Hartsock, “Rethinking Power,” in Hirschmann/diStefano

                        Reed, “Roseanne,” in Heywood/Drake

 

Freedom

 

Week 14             diStefano, "Autonomy in the Light of Difference," in

                           H/diStefano

                        Hirschmann, "Revisioning Freedom," in H/diStefano

                        Cox et al, “Male-Identification,” in Heywood/Drake

 

Movements & Third Wave Activism

 

Week 15             Klein, "Redefinition," in Heywood/Drake

                        Smith, "Youth Feminism," in Heywood/Drake

                        Niesel, "Rap Music," in Heywood/Drake

                        “No More Miss America,” in McCann/Kim

                        Bunch, “Lesbians in Revolt,” in McCann/Kim

                        Correa/Petchesky, “Reprod./Sexual Rights,” in Mc/Kim

                        Mikell, “African F’ism,” in McCann/Kim

                        Sturgeon, “Ecofeminist Appropriations,” in Mc/Kim

                        Stetz, “Wartime Sexual Violence,” in Mc/Kim

 

FINAL PAPER