Feminism for the 21st century: many genders and even more trouble

Course Dates: 23/02/24 - 22/03/24
Time: 14:45 - 16:45
Location: Keeley Street
In the twenty-first century, feminist theories of othering and oppression, identity and relation, sex and sexuality come into new life. From trans-medicine and Artificial Reproductive Technologies to climate crisis and internet activism, feminism remains at the forefront of struggles for a more just and inhabitable world. This course will explore how feminist thought is undergoing interesting transformations to meet these and other challenges of our times.
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Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00

Feminism for the 21st century: many genders and even more trouble
  • Course Code: HCC13
  • Dates: 23/02/24 - 22/03/24
  • Time: 14:45 - 16:45
  • Taught: Fri, Daytime
  • Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Katie Goss

Course Code: HCC13

Fri, day, 23 Feb - 22 Mar '24

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This Culture course will give students an opportunity to explore various feminist theories emerging in the twenty-first century and understand how they diverge from previous traditions and methodologies to reckon with the challenges of our times. As well as rejecting oppressive and limiting definitions of what a woman is, feminism now seeks even greater inclusion and understanding of aspects of identity and experience that may otherwise have been ignored - such as race, disability, or trans and non-binary forms of embodiment. There is also a need to combat the potentially problematic aspects of women’s empowerment in neoliberalism, such as the ‘girlboss’ cultures of women who “have it all” and the rise of female dictators like Marie le Penn who want to roll back hard-won rights. From contemporary eco-feminisms to #MeToo, students will consider the how key concepts and central debates that emerged from twentieth century feminism are complicated by and come into new forms of significance through twenty-first century life.

What will we cover?

In this course we will cover influential feminist theories and how these have been re-interpreted in twenty-first century contexts. After considering Judith Butler’s theorisation of gender as performative, Kimberlé Crenshaw’s conceptualisation of intersectionality, and debates around the liberatory potentials of women’s sexuality during the “sex wars” of the 1970’s, we will look at twenty-first century feminist thinkers who have made important interventions and further elaborations of these ideas including Paul Preciado, Jasbir Puar, Greta Gaard, and Amia Srinivisan.

Proposed timetable
Week 1: Feminist histories, methodologies and key concepts
Week 2: Sex/genders: trans-embodiment, non-binary identities and more-than-binary becoming
Week 3: Phenomenal intersections: embodied assemblages and exclusionary structures of feeling
Week 4: Eco-feminism in the Anthropocene: feminist ethics in times of ecological destruction
Week 5: Sexuality and its discontents: sexual liberation in commodity capitalism.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Have an understanding of some key feminist theories, concepts and debates and how they are taken up in contemporary culture.
- Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of critical debates around the concepts of ‘gender/sex’, ‘intersectional identities’, ‘environmental or eco-feminism’ and ‘feminine sexuality’.
- Discuss films, texts, cultural trends and artefacts through a feminist lens.
- Evaluate a range of feminist methodologies and their usefulness for interpreting twenty-first century social, cultural and political conditions.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course would be well-suited to anyone who has a keen interest in feminism, feminist theory and contemporary culture. While no previous knowledge of the material or topics is required, it does involve working with theoretical material, artworks and cultural artifacts. You should have the ability to read texts, think critically about them, and discuss them in an open and supportive manner with other members of the class.

This class is explicitly trans-inclusive. While we be engaging deeply in the theories of sex/gender and the complexities of identity, this will be done with the greatest respect and care towards trans-women, trans-men and non-binary people at all times.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Each class will be structured around a combination of tutor presentations, group work and class discussion.

There will be some set reading of short extracts of feminist theory. Students will also have the option to take part in a series of creative exercises, designed to help them further develop their own approach to twenty-first century feminism.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs and the tutor will supply all reading and viewing material.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other Culture and Film, TV and Media Studies courses under History Culture and Writing/Film Studies at www.citylit.ac.uk.

Katie Goss

Dr. Katie Goss is an independent scholar, writer and artist whose research covers contemporary literature, culture and thought, queer-feminist theory and philosophy, psychoanalysis, trans* studies, posthumanism, and the environmental and medical humanities. They have taught for a number of years in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary, University of London and their work has been published or is forthcoming in journals including Transgender Studies Quarterly and Film-Philosophy and edited collections like The Edinburgh Companion to Queer Reading and The Queer Feminist Decolonial Ecologies Dossier (LADA 2020). They are currently working on the publication of their PhD research which explores the ‘plasticity’ or bio-material transformability of contemporary embodiment through womxn’s writing and film.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.