Kahn Syllabus Fall 2011

Feminist Theory



Fall 2011, T 5:30-8:10 pm

Hill Hall 617


Dr. Kristian Kahn                                                                                                         Office: Hill 525

kkahn@andromeda.rutgers.edu                                           Office Hours: T/Th 2:30-3:30 (by appt.)


Course Description:

This seminar will explore the rich history of feminism and feminist thought, emphasizing in particular the seminal theoretical debates and intersections of feminist theory, poststructuralism, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies from the 1970s to today. Reading recent theoretical work will also allow us to consider the emergence of queer theory and transgender feminisms as methodological approaches to gender and sexualities while also examining critical work on these topics and their intersections with race, class, ethnicities, transnational feminisms, and more.


Texts to Purchase at Campus Bookstore:

Janet Price and Margrit Shildrick, eds., Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader (Routledge,


Additional course readings will be made available in PDF format on Blackboard.


Course Objectives:

  • Students will familiarize themselves with debates in feminist theory, especially from the 1970s to the present day.
  • Students will use a cultural studies approach to relate the theoretical material to the real world through film, visual art, politics, activism, &c.
  • Students will bring their own fields and disciplines into the seminar to enrich the experience of their peers.
  • Students will facilitate seminar discussions; in addition, students will use Blackboard’s online forum to extend the applicability of the various theoretical approaches outside of the classroom.
  • Students will conduct two independent research projects to explore the tensions, debates, and dialogues within feminist and gender theories.



  • Seminar discussion and facilitation
  • Participation on Blackboard online forum
  • Midterm research paper of 3-3,750 words
  • Final research paper of 4,500-5,000 words


Course Expectations:

Please see the full syllabus for the course on Blackboard.


Course Reading Schedule:


Note: Specific readings for each seminar can be found on the full course reading schedule on Blackboard as well as PDF files for readings not in the Price and Shildrick reader.


                        Week 1                        Feminism and Poststructuralism

                        Week 2                        Gender, Race, Bodies

                        Week 3                        Psychoanalysis and Historicizing “Femininity”

                        Week 4                        Body Inscriptions and French Feminist Theory

                        Week 5                        Foucault and Feminism

                        Week 6                        Gender, Race, and Class Fucking

                        Week 7                        The (Fe)male Gaze

                        Week 8                        Socialist Feminism and Technologies of the Body

                        Week 9                        Feminism and Postcolonial Subjects

                        Week 10                      Marginal(ized) Feminisms

                        Week 11                      Feminism Meets Queer Theory

                        Week 12                      No class; Thanksgiving recess

                        Week 13                      Transgender Feminism

                        Week 14                      Biological Interventions: Intersexuality

                        Week 15                      Queer Representations