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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Christine Di Stefano
PHIL 206
Seattle Campus

Philosophy of Feminism

Philosophical analysis of the concepts and assumptions central to feminism. Theoretical positions within the feminist movement; view of the ideal society, goals and strategies of the movement, intersections of the sex-gender system with other systems of oppression. Offered: jointly with GWSS 206/POL S 212.

Class description

This class will cover three primary philosophies of feminism: liberal, marxist, and existentialist. We will begin with primary source works in each of these philosophical traditions as they were developed by John Stuart Mill, Alexandra Kollontai, and Simone de Beauvoir. Then we will examine some examples of contemporary feminist work that build on these philosophical traditions.

Student learning goals

Students will be able to define and apply the term "feminism." They will also develop a working knowledge of the diversity, sometimes complementary, at other times antagonistic, of various feminisms. They will acquire an understanding of the philosophical legacies of contemporary feminisms, and they will be able to identify these legacies in contemporary feminist discourse. Reading, writing, and critical thinking skills will be enhanced for students who take this class.

General method of instruction

Lectures, with time for Q&A, will be the standard format for classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Quiz sections, with more opportunity for student discussion in smaller groups, will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Recommended preparation

There are no prerequisites for this class. However, this class is not open to first-year students.

Class assignments and grading

In addition to weekly reading assignments, there will be two short paper assignments (3-5 pp.), a take-home midterm exam, and a comprehensive final exam.

Participation in quiz section discussions may help to raise the final grade, which will be based on the two exams (50%) and two paper assignments.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Christine Di Stefano
Date: 11/04/2007