May 19, 2024  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

GWS 495-01 & 02 - Senior Seminar: Bad Feminists, Bad Critics

4 credits (Spring)
This course examines the work of second wave feminist critics in the 1960s and 1970s whose work was either dismissed when it was first published or is out of critical favor in the present. By looking at why some feminists’ work has been left out of the field’s accepted history, we will learn as much (if not more) than we would by repeating the narratives of political progress that are often told about the development of feminism. Throughout the course, we will read texts that have always been “difficult” for feminism such as Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism, which sparked a public debate about the role of race and racism in radical feminism. We will also examine authors who were labeled “bad” critics by the broader public, such as Kate Millett whose Sexual Politics was the subject of much derision in literary circles. As well, we will look at figures who have been bad for feminism, including Valerie Solanas and her little-known play Up Your Ass. Finally, we will close the semester with a unit on recent feminist interest in the 1960s and 1970s, and look at contemporary works that offer new ways of thinking about old histories.

Prerequisite: GWS 111 , GWS 249 , senior status, and Senior Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies major.
Instructor: Allen