CONTEMPORARY GENDER STUDIES: ISSUES AND PROBLEMS
Nancy Leys Stepan
Claire Wallace
Jaroslava Stastna
Spring, 1995
Department of Political Science
CENTRAL EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY




Course Description

The field of gender studies is rich and diverse, full of controversy and active debates over the significant questions and appropriate answers concerning gender differences and inequalities. In recent years, the very categories of 'woman' and 'man' as self-evident or unified sources of experience and identity have been questioned, thus raising important issues about interpretation,meaning and politics.

The course approaches the field of gender studies through a series of selected but interrelated topics. Each week a problematic theme or set of concerns is introduced; the ways in which distinctions of gender and social and political inequalities are defined, interpreted and discussed are examined; various conceptual frameworks are evaluated; and some of the contributions made by gender studies to current scholarship in the humanities and social sciences assessed. Wherever possible, specific examples of new scholarship are incorporated into the syllabus.

The course is designed as a seminar. Each week a short lecture will introduce the topic and the main questions it raises; the lecture will be followed by discussion. The readings on the syllabus are required and students are expected to participate actively in discussions on the basis of having read them. The readings will be made available in xeroxed form. Students are expected to prepare a short presentation on the each topic.

1. Why feminism/gender studies?


An introduction to some of the main theories and ideas developed within western feminism and the study of gender. The impact of these ideas on sociological theories and methods. Why the need to study gender when understanding society?

Abbott, P. and Wallace, C. (1990) An Introduction to Sociology: feminist perspectives Final Chapter on the gendered production of knowledge
Joan W. Scott 'Gender; a useful category of analysis' in Gender and the Politics of History (New York, 1988)
Stacey, J. (1991) 'Untangling Feminist Theory' in Introducing Women's Studies: Feminist theory and practice (eds. Richardson, D. and Robinson, V.

2. Feminism in East-Central Europe

Gender studies in post-communist countries; difficulties, resistances

Trnka, S. and Busheikin, L. (1993) Bodies of Bread and Butter: Reconfiguring Women's Lives in the Post-Communist Czech Republic articles by Siklova, Smejkalova-Strickland, Busheikin pp 5-11, 13-18, 69-76
Penn, S. (1993) 'The National Secret' Journal of Women's History
Rosenburg, D. J. (1991) 'Shock Therapy: GDR Women in Transition form a Socialist to a Social Market Economy' Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 17, 1: 129-151
Watson, P. (1993) 'Eastern Europe's Silent Revolution: gender' Sociology Vol 27 (3) pp 471-487

3. Gendered Work and the Public/Private Distinction

Separate spheres as social institution and ideology; the public/private distinction and its critics; the changing nature of male and female work; gender and power; work and representation

Mainardi, P. (1984) 'The Politics of Housework' in Feminist Frameworks Jagger, A. and Rothenberg, P. S. pp 51-56
Corrin, C. (1992) Superwomen and the Double Burden, Scarlet Press
Hall, C. 'Private Persons versus Public Someones: Class, Gender and Politics in England, 1780-1830' British Feminist Thought ed. Terry Lovell
Abbott, P. and Wallace, C. (1990) An Introduction to Sociology: feminist perspectives chapters 4 and 6

4. Gender and Rights

Gender, women and the demand for rights; liberal feminism and its difficulties; the equality and difference debate past and present

Rousseau 'Sophie' in Emile (1762) pp 43-49
Wollstonecraft, M. A Vindication of the Rights of Women pp 100-122 Pelican edition
Pateman, C. (1989) The Disorder of Women: Democracy, feminism and political theory pp 17-32
Phillips, A. (1992) 'Universal Pretensions in Political Thought' in Barrett, M. and Phillips, A. Destabilising Theory: Feminist Debates
pp 10-30
Abbott, P. and Wallace, C. (1990) Chapter 8

5. Thinking about Gender and Nationalism

Populations, reproduction and gender in the making of the nation; special attention to fascism as an example of the intersection of class, race and gender; contributions of gender studies to the field

Bock, G. 'Antinatalism, Maternity and Paternity in National Socialist Racism' in Maternity and Gender Politics eds. Bock, 'G. and Thane, P. pp 233-253
Grossmann, A. (1991) 'Feminist Debates about Women and National Socialism' Gender and History 3, No. 3
Leys Stepan, N (1991) The Hour of Eugenics pp 1-20, 102-134
Mosse, G.L. 'Manliness and Homesexuality' in Nationalism and Sexuality: middle class morality and sexual norms in modern Europe (1985) pp 23-37

6. The Body in Question

The body as a locus of sex/gender differences; the social construction of the gendered body; the politics of the gendered body and the natural

Lacquer, T. (1990) 'Politics and the Biology of the Two Sexes' in Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud pp 194-207
Riley, D. (1990) 'Progresses of the Soul' in Am I That Name?: Feminism and the Category of 'Women' in History pp 18-43
Leys Stepan, N
'Race and Sex: the Role of Analogy in Science' in Isis 77 (1986) pp 261-279
Shiebinger, L. (1994) 'Why Mammals are called Mammals' in Nature's Body pp 65-74

7. Sexualities

How to theorize sexuality and sexual difference; the feminist contribution to Foucault and the feminist uses of Foucault; the production of sexual identities; the regulation and control of sexualities

Foucault, M. The History of Sexuality Vol 1 pp 301-329
Weeks, J. (1981) 'The Construction of Homosexuality' in Sex, Politics and Society since 1800 pp 1-18, 96-121
Cott, N. 1978 'Passionless: an interpretation of Victorian Sexuity, 1790-1850' Signs 4, 2 219-236
Walkowitz, J. (1982) 'Male Vice and Feminist Virtue: feminism and the politics of nineteenth century Britain' History Workshop Journal 13

8. Gender and Subjectivity


Evaluation of the significance of debates about psychoanalysis for gender studies. Do we need a theory of subjectivity? How and why has psychic difference been theorized, and with what consequences?

Mitchell, J. (1974) Psychoanalysis and Feminism pp 5-15, 16-29
Rose, J. 'Femininity and its Discontents' in Sexuality in the Field of pp 83-103
Freud, S. (1933) 'Femininity' in New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis ed. Strachey, J. pp. 112-135
Snitow, A. 40, Spring 1992 pp 32-51

9. Gender and Postmodern Subjects


What happens to the concept of 'woman' 'women' 'men' 'man' and 'experience' - all key terms for gender studies - in the post modern movement? If these lose their self-evident or unitary meanings as sources of identity, what questions arise about
scholarship, politics and social change?

Scott, J. W. (1991) 'The Evidence of Experience' Critical Inquiry 17 733-797
Riley, D. 'Does Sex have a History?' in Am I that Name?: Feminism and the Category of 'women' (1990) pp 1-17
Snitow, A. (1990) 'A Gender Diary' in Hirsch, M. and Keller, E.Fox Conflicts in Feminism pp 9-43
Bordo, S. (1990) 'Feminism, Post-modernism and Gender-scepticism' in Feminism/Postmodernism pp 133-155

10. Visual Representations and Gender

Why are images so important to gender? What new interpretive questions are being raised?

Gilman, S. L. 'Black bodies, White Bodies: towards an ichnography of female sexuality in late nineteenth century art, medicine and literature' Critical Inquiry 12 (1985): 204-242
Pollack Petchesky, R.'Fetal images: the power of visual culture in the politics of reproduction' Feminist Studies 13, 2: 263-292
Berger, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing pp 45-64
Leys Stepan, N. (1994) 'Portraits of a Possible Nation: photographing medicine in Brazil' Bulletin of the History of Medicine 68: 136-149

Additional Readings

Week 1: Why feminism/gender studies?

Abel, E. and Abel, E.K. (1983) The Signs Reader: Women, Gender and Scholarship
Hirsch, M. and Fox Keller, E. (1990) Conflicts in Feminism
de Lauretis, T. (1986) Feminist Studies/Critical Studies
Gunaw, S. (1990) Feminist Knowledge: critique and construct
Butler, J. and Scott, J.W. (1992) Feminists Theorize the Political
Nicholson, L.J. (1990) Feminism/Postmodernism

Week 2: Concepts/Definitions/Approaches

Showalter, E. (ed.)( 1985) 'Towards a Feminist Poetics' in The New Feminist Criticism (Pantheon)
Benhabib, S. (1989) 'On Contemporary Feminist Theory' Dissent 366-370
MacKinnon, C. A. (1982) 'Feminism, Marxism, Method and the State: an Agenda for Theory' Signs: 227-256
Gordon, L. (1991) 'On Difference' Genders 10 91-111
Rubin, G. (1990) 'The Traffic in Women: notes on the 'political economy' of sex' Women, Class and the Feminist Imagination: 74-113
Offen, K.(1988) 'Defining Feminism: a comparative historical approach' Signs 14, 1 :L 119-157
Scott, J. (1988) Gender and the Politics of History pp 1-11, 15-27
Smith, B.G. (1984) 'The Contributions of Women to Modern Historiography in Great Britain, France and the United States, 1750-1940' American Historical Review 89: 709-732
Signs
Debate between Linda Gordon and Joan Scott over Heroes of their Own Lives
Zemon Davis, N. (1976) 'Women's History in Transition: the European case' Feminist Studies Nos 3/4: 84-103
Perrot,M. 'Making History: Women in France' in Kleinberg, S.J. Retrieving Women's History pp 41-59
Banks, O. (1981) Faces of Feminism: A Study of feminism as a social movement
Rosemarie Tong (1989) Feminist Thought: a comprehensive introduction
Braun, L. (1987) Selected Writings on feminism and socialism
Einhorn, B. (1993) Cinderella goes to Market (London:Verso)
Reading, A. (1992) Polish Women: Solidarity and Feminism (Macmillan:Basingstoke)
Bridger, S. (1987) Women in the Soviet Countryside. Women's Roles in Rural Development (Cambridge University Press)
Browning, G.K (1987) Women and Politics in the USSR (Wheatsheaf: Sussex)
Buckley,M. (1989) Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union (Whatsheaf: Hemel Hempstead)
Engel, B.A. (1983) Mothers and Daughters of the Intelligentsia in Nineteenth Century Russia (CUP)
Heitlinger, A. (1979) Women and State Socialism: sex inequality in the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia (Macmillan: London)
Kleder, I. (1991) Feminism and Eastern Europe (Dublin Atlantic Press)
Stites, R. (1991) The women's liberation movement in Russia: feminism, nihilism and bolshevism 1860-1930 (Princeton University Press)
Wolchick, S.L. (1985) Women, State and Party in Eastern Europe (Duke University Press)
Edmondson, L.H. (1984) Feminism in Russia (Heinnmann: London)
DuPlessix Gray, F. (1991) Soviet Women: walking the tightrope (Virago)
Corrin, C. (1992) Superwomen and the double burden: women's experience of change in central and eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (Scarlet Press)
Funk, N. (1993) Gender Politics and Post-communism (Routledge)
Millinship, W. (1993) Front line women in the New Russia (London: Methuen)
Bohachevsky-Chomiak, M. (1988) Feminists Despite Themselves: women in Ukrainian Comminity Life (University of Toronto Press)
Redclift, N. (1991) Working Women: international perspectives on labour and gender ideology (Routledge)

Week 3: Public/Private

Hall, C. (1992) White, Male and Middle Class: explorations in feminist History
Alexander, S. (1984) 'Women, Class and Sexual Differences in the 1830s and 1840s: some reflections on the Writing of Feminist History' History Workshop Journal 17: 125-149
Davidoff, L. and Hall, C. 'Concepts and Methods' in Family Fortunes: men and women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850
pp 28-35
Scott, J.(1988) 'On Language, Gender and Working-Class History' in Gender and the Politics of History (Columbia Univ. Press)
Nicholson, L.J. (1992) 'Feminist Theory: the private and the public' in McDowell and Pringle Defining Women: Social Institutions and Gender Divisions (Polity)
Hartmann, H. 'Capitalism, Patriarchy and Job Segregation by Sex' in The Signs Reader eds. Abel and Abel pp 193-224
Kelly, J. 'Family and Society' in Women, History and Theory Univ of Chicago Press, 1984

Week 4: Gender and Rights

Moller Okin, S. (1979) Women in Western Political Thought (Princeton Univ. Press)
Pateman, C. (1989) The Disorder of Women (Polity)
Taylor, B. (1983) 'The Rights of Women: a radical inheritance' in Eve and the New Jerusalem Pantheon
Moller Okin, S. (1991) 'John Rawls: Justice as Fairness - For Whom? in Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory (eds.) Shanley and Pateman (Polity)
McDowell and Pringle (1992) Defining Women: social institutions and Gender Divisions (Polity)
Dietz, M.G. (1987, Fall) 'Context is all: Feminism and theories of citizenship' Daedalus: 1-24
Kerber, L. (1991) 'The Republican Mother' in Women's America: refocusing the Past (3rd edn) eds Kerber and de Hart (Oxford University Press)
Walby, S. (1994) 'Is Citizenship Gendered?' Sociology Vol 28 (2) pp379-395

Week 5: Gender and Nationalism

Davin, A. 'Imperialism and Motherhood' History Workshop 5 (Spring 1978) 9-65
Stoler, A. (1989) 'Making Empire Respectable: the politics of race,and sexual morality in 20th Century Colonial cultures' American Ethnologist 16, 4 : 634-660
Papanek, H.(1994) 'Ideal Woman and Ideal Society: control and autonomy and the construction of identity' in Identity Politics and
Women: Cultural re-assertions and Feminisms in International Perspective
ed. V.M. Modghadam (Westview) pp 42-75
Bridenthal, et. al., (1984) When Biology Became Destiny: women in Weimar and Nazi Germany
Offen, K. (1988) 'Depopulation, Nationalism and Feminism in Fin-de-Siecle France' American Historical Review 648-676
Mason, T. (1976) 'Women in Germany: 1925-1940: Family Welfare and Work Pts 1 and 11' History Workshop 1-2: 74-113, 5-32

Week 6: The Body

article by Carol Smart in Abbott, P. and Wallace, C. (1991) Gender, Sexuality and Power (Macmillan)
Porter, R. (1991) 'Histories of the Body' in New Perspectives in Modern History Writing ed. P. Burke pp 203-232
Sawicki, J. (1991) 'Foucault and Feminism: a critical reappraisal' in Disciplining Foucault: feminism, power and the body pp 95-109
Bordo, S. 'Feminism, Foucault and the Politics of the Body' in Up Against Foucault and 'Anorexia Nervosa: psychopathology as the crystallisation of culture' in Feminism and Foucault eds. Diamond, I. and Quinby,L (1993) pp 87-118
Foucault, M. Discipline and Punish and The Birth of the Clinic
Martin, E., (1987) The Woman in the Body: A cultural analysis of reproduction (Beacon)
Harding, S. 'Feminism, Science and Anti-Enlightenment Critiques' in Feminism/Postmodernism ed.L.Nicholson pp 83-106
Fox Keller, E. 'Feminism and Science' in Feminist Theory: a critique eds. Keohane et al. pp 113-126

Week 7: Sexualities

Stacey, J. et al. (1992) Off Centre
Giddens, A. (1992) The Transformation of Intimacy Polity Press
Poovey, M. (1990) 'Speaking of the Body: Mid-Victorian Constructions of Female Desire' in Body/Politics:Women and the Discourse of Science eds. Jacobus et al. pp 29-46
Rich, A. (1983) 'Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Experience' in Powers of Desire: the politics of sexuality eds. Snitow et al. pp3-32 and a critique by Ann Ferguson 'Patriarchy, Sexual Identity and the Sexual Revolution: heterosexuality as coercive force' in Feminist Frameworks eds. Jagger et al. (1984) pp 420-422
Richardon, D. 'Sexuality and Male Dominance' in Introducing Women's Studies: feminist theory and practice (Macmillan 1993) pp413-439
Pollack Petchesky, R. 'Morality and Personhood: a feminist perspective' in Ethics: a feminist reader eds Frazer et al. (Blackwell 1992) pp 413-439
Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge ed. Colin Gordon (Pantheon 1990) interview on the 'History of Sexuality' pp 183-193

Week 8: Gender and Subjectivity


Snitow, A. 'Thinking about The Mermaid and the Minotaur' Feminist Studies 4, 2 (June 1978) 190-198
Moller Okin, S. 'Thinking Like a Woman' in Theoretical Perspectives on Sexual Difference ed. D.L. Rhode (Yale University Press, 1990) pp145-159
Judith Butler 'Gender Trouble, Feminist Theory and Psychoanalytic Discourse' in Feminism/Postmodernism ed. Linda Nicholson pp 324-240
Rosalind Jones, A. 'Inscribing Feminity: french theories of the feminine' in Making a Difference eds. Green and Kahn (Routledge 1985) pp 80-112
Chodorow, N. 'Gender Relation and Difference in Psychanalytic Perspective' in The Future of Difference eds. H. Eisenstein and A. Jardine (GK Hall) pp 3-19
Gallop, J. and Burke, C. 'Psychoanalysis and feminism in France' in The Future of Difference ed H. Eisenstein and A. Jardine pp 106-121
Gilligan, C. 'In a Different Voice' in The Future of Difference pp274-317
Leland, D. (1989) 'Lacanian Psychoanalysis and French Feminism: toward an adequate political psychology' Hypatia 3, 3
Butler, Judith Gender Trouble (1990)

Week 9: Gender and Postmodern Subjects

Benhabib, S. (1994) 'Feminism and the Question of Postmodernism' in Polity Reader in Gender Studies (Polity) pp 76-92
Canning, K. (1994) 'Feminist History after the Linguistic Turn: historicising discourse and agency' Signs 19, 2: 368-404
Scott, J. (1988) 'The Sear's Case' in her Gender and the Politics of History pp 167-177
Fraser, N. and Nicholson, L.J. 'Social Criticism without Philosophy: an Encounter between feminism and postmodernism' in Feminism/Postmodernism ed. Nicholson, L.J. (Routledge) pp 19-37
Mouffe, Chantal (1992) 'Feminism, Citizenship and Radical Democratic Politics' in Feminists Theorise the Political ed. Butler and Scott pp 369-384

Examination

The course will be examined through writing a 3,000 word essay. Titles to be negotiated with seminar leaders but could be based upon individual seminar presentations.


CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: July, 1996

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