This course is an introduction to some of the central texts and genealogies of feminist thought, with a focus on transnational feminist theory. In our engagement with transnational feminist theory we will address postcolonial studies, 1970s U.S. feminism, French feminism, and Marxist thought. Over the course of the term, we will consider how differences across and within national borders have informed discussions about transnational feminist solidarity. We will examine how feminist theory can help us think about the following: kinship; reproduction; the law and justice; human rights discourse, political economy, racialized and other forms of difference; existence and the subject; the relation between individual and group; the relation between terms such as “gender” and “sex;” and the varied meanings the terms “queer” and “feminist” have carried in different national and transnational contexts.
Readings include texts by Gloria Anzaldua, Simone de Beauvoir, Daniel Boyarin, Judith Butler, Drucilla Cornell, Christine Delphy, Karen Engle, Friedrich Engels, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Shoshana Felman, Shulamith Firestone, Sarah Franklin, Sigmund Freud, Henry Louis Gates, Emma Goldman, Inderpal Grewal, Elizabeth Grosz, Heidi Hartmann, bell hooks, Luce Irigaray, Caren Kaplan, Ratna Kapur, Ranjana Khanna, Alexandra Kollontai, Rosa Luxemburg, Saba Mahmood, Catherine McKinnon, Chandra Mohanty, Ann Pellegrini, Jacqueline Rose, Gayle Rubin, Gayatri Spivak, Rinaldo Walcott, Elizabeth Wilson and Monique Wittig.