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The course is designed to give students an opportunity to pursue their interest in the development of feminist ideas by focusing on the impact of fundamental texts. The course is organized around various competing interpretations of the merits of feminist texts in the development of a distinct feminist epistemology and methodology. The course provides a brief historical perspective, outlining historical, social, political and cultural contexts and focusing on a number of crucial issues which shaped the discipline. Particular attention will be given to the development of female authorship, agency, subjectivity, autonomy. Throughout the course parallels, comparisons will be invited with EE and CE societies, in particular with the Romanian situation. There is no provision for an undergraduate course in Gender Studies in the Romanian academic curriculum with the exception of an elective course: Introduction to Gender Studies offered to terminal year students.
1. To develop students' ability to relate theoretical interpretations to a number of empirical issues and problems. Particular questions which lie at the heart of the course, include: the relationship between agents, ideas/ideology and broader structural forces, public/private.
3. Sensitizing Ss to the non-foundational anti-monodisciplinary character of GS, to the permanent challenge they pose as to received wisdom calling for questioning and critical reading of socio-political reality.
4. Pursuing the diachronic evolution of fundamental concepts such as sex/ gender, equality/ difference, equality/ liberation, separation/ integration of Women\u2019s Studies as an academic subject in its own right; it aims at making Ss aware of the full scientific validity and epistemic authority status of the discipline of Gender Studies, underscoring the epistemological and methodological value of feminist research.
5. To develop skills of extracting relevant information and analysis from diverse sources and the ability to synthesise them. Students are expected to develop the capacity to detect and develop implications and distinctions, to discriminate between different lines of interpretation, to show powers of analysis, argument and judgment.
Weeks 1-2. A discussion of fundamental concepts: sex, gender, sexual vs. gender identity. Female, feminine, feminist experiences. Patriarchal families vs. partnership-based ones. Feminism - still demonized in our society? Debate
Ws 3-4. The historical cycles of feminism. First wave in the context of evangelical movement, temperance, anti-slavery, abolitionist militancy. The influence of the Quakers\u2019 ideals of social reform and emancipation, utilitarian and radical philosophies and their role in developing feminist consciousness.
Ws 6-7. The decisive role plaid by European women from the Middle Ages to modern times in vindicating political and civic rights, in demanding authorship status for women: the European history stands witness: Christine de Pizan, Mary Wollstonecraft, Olympe de Gouges.
Ws 8-9. Christine de Pizan and the Middle Ages. The first great feminist of Europe. An interesting case of translating as subversion: fashioning female subjectivity and authorship. The beginnings of female genealogy. The woman who started the first literary querrele, fray
Ws 10-11. Looking beyond the Book of the City of Ladies. The emergence of a feminist discourse and feminine subjectivity through refashioning (Greenblatt) the masculine generative subject.
Ws 16-17. Demystifying the Victorian stereotype of the mad woman in the attic: hysteria a female malady? Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Mona Caird. Weir Mitchell and the rest cure: medicalizing and pathologizing the woman\u2019s body. Elaine Showalter on madness as female malady.
Ws 20-21-22. the Second Wave from the perspective of the British \u2018new feminism\u2019. Debating Natasha Walter\u2019s NewFemi n i s m. Texts from Dworkin, Steinem, Millett, Brownmiller and Rich are also highlighted.
Eunuch and Feminine Mystique
Ws 25. The Second wave and the feminist metaethics: Mary Daly and the war against women.
Reinventing language, feminizing culture.
Ws 27-28. Gender Discourse and translation conundrums: \u201ccultural embeddedness\u201d and mediaeval feminists; Romanian protofeminism, translating excerpts from Stefania Mihailescu\u2019s \u2013 Emanciparea femeii rom\u00e2ne.
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