New Course Offering on Feminist Theory for Spring 2011

Posted on 11/18/2010 11:49:21 AM

The Women’s Studies program is now offering WMST 400/001: Feminist Theories between Worlds, for Spring 2011. The course will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:25 to 2:15 p.m.

Description of Course:

Dr. Lingyan Yang
Associate professor of English and affiliated faculty member in Women’s Studies, IUP

This upper-level Women’s Studies seminar examines the diverse, dynamic, complex, global, and multicultural intellectual tradition of the twentieth-century feminist theories in the world. We will interpret some of the best and the most celebrated women intellectuals’ vigorous conceptual intersections between feminist theories and numerous schools of thoughts, such as Marxism, poststructuralism and French thought, postmodernism, queer theory, postcolonial theory, Asian American cultural criticism, and African American cultural criticism. We pay much attention to women’s mediation between the private and the public, women’s individual selves and professionalism, female sexuality, women’s resistance against patriarchy and struggle with poverty, women’s independence and empowerment, women’s language, literature, and epistemology, feminist agency and activism, and women’s complex relationship with history, culture, community, and the world. Situated in the specific historical, social, sexual, and cultural contexts, our discussions will be enriched and complicated by the critical categories of gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity, race, decolonization, and history. The course seeks to engage, stimulate, and empower.

Requirements include active participations, a few one-page informal critical responses, one oral presentation, a midterm paper (five to six pages), and a final research paper (six to eight pages). This is a recommended course for all Women’s Studies minors. All who are interested are very welcome. Enjoy.

Tentative Reading List:
1. Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own (1929)
2. Kate Chopin, The Awakening (1899)
3. Karl Marx and F. Engels, The German Ideology, up to p.65.
4. Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)
5. Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street (1984)
6. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)

There will also be a few women-centered films, such as Rosie the Riveter, the women’s documentary classic, A League of Their Own, Silence of the Lambs, and Mulan, and a course pack with some clear and wonderful feminist theoretical articles, selected women’s poetry, and short stories. If you have questions, please e-mail Dr. Lingyan Yang at