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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Alka Kurian
BIS 224
Bothell Campus

Introduction to Feminist Studies

Introduces feminism as it developed over the last two centuries. Investigates theories of gender and power, including the sources of and solutions to gender inequality, and how gendered identities have been produced, questioned, and critiqued.

Class description

This course explores the concept of gender as a social construction and interrogates established categories of knowledge. It examines how forces of colonialism and imperialism have shaped notions of gender and investigates the intersection between issues of power and inequality. It critically investigates the ways in which notions of femininity and masculinity have influenced women’s lives globally and emphasizes gender, class, race, sexuality, nationality, age, caste, and religion as categories of analysis. By adopting a transnational position, it traces a history of feminist theories in both national and international contexts and examines issues of women located in multiple sites across the world.

Student learning goals

The language and tools of analysis of feminist theories.

A historical understanding of the growth and development of feminist theories nationally and internationally.

A critical understanding of the global power relations in the context of multiple intersecting systems of oppression and of their manifestation in specific contexts.

An exploration of various feminist critiques of knowledge construction, and interrogation of our own positions in relation to systemic oppressions.

An examination of strategies of resistance performed by contemporary transnational feminist movements with the view to exploring the ways to create a more equitable world.

Interdisciplinary skills in critical thinking, effective communication through writing and speaking, and collaborative work.

General method of instruction

The class will use a combination of lectures, student-led discussions and seminars, group work, and quizzes.

Recommended preparation

None

Class assignments and grading

Quizzes, midterm paper, group presentation.

Class preparation and participation: 10% Quizzes: 30% Midterm paper: 30% Group presentation: 30%


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 Alka Kurian
Date: 02/15/2013