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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Tapoja Chaudhuri
WOMEN 345
Seattle Campus

Women and International Economic Development

Questions how women are affected by economic development in Third World and celebrates redefinitions of what development means. Theoretical perspectives and methods to interrogate gender and development policies introduced. Current processes of globalization and potential for changing gender and economic inequalities assessed. Offered: jointly with ANTH 345/SIS 345.

Class description

This course is situated in the middle of the current international economic crisis. For our work we will take into account that studying women in international development during this particular historical moment is culturally, politically, and socially significant and specific. Currently globalization, neoliberal policies, and capitalism itself are being called into question. How does this economic, political, and social milieu challenge the "taken-for-granted" aspects of the concept of development and in turn development policy? Our work will entail becoming familiar with the historic and current development processes from the perspective of large development institutions and what it looks like on the ground. We will also and most specifically focus our work on the interventions launched by feminist challenges to development thought and practice. Though the inequality between and within nations and between men and women is a starting point, the course will move on to suggest why "gender" is a useful framework to understand how power operates in social relations and in the development of knowledge and practice. We will also place particular attention on how "development" discourses, politics, economics, policies, and hegemonies get contested, resisted, and refashioned by people on the ground and in social movements.

Student learning goals

You will be albe to articulate key concepts in feminism and development studies.

You will demonstrate competence in the main theories of development and how feminists have critiqued them.

You will identify and critically engage with the assumptions of different theoretical approaches and be able to analyze case studies from different theoretical viewpoints.

You will understand how the field of feminist development studies has changed and what the contemporary debates and impasses in the field are.

You will be able to research, present, and defend a gender analysis of some of the most critical contemporary issues of development and suggest critical interventions.

General method of instruction

The course will be a mixture of classroom lectures, group discussions, short in-class writing exercises, and analysis of documentary films shown in class.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Tapoja Chaudhuri
Date: 03/21/2011