Feminist Theories of Gender
Drawing on contemporary works in feminist, queer, trans studies, as well as important texts in the history of these fields, this course focuses on a series of fundamental questions: what is gender? What is the future of gender? Should feminists, queer and trans activists seek to abolish gender or democratize gender? The course addresses these questions at a particular historical moment, one marked by the rise of a right wing, populist, authoritarian-leaning global movement that often embraces white nationalism. This movement has framed itself against what it calls a “gender ideology.” It seeks to promote a gender binary rooted in sex. Faced with this, the course probes the relation between gender, sex, colonialism, and racism. We reconsider the distinction between cisgender and transgender in the afterlife of slavery. We also analyze gender within the context of settler colonialism, and finally, we return to our central question: what is gender? Is it something we might seek to destroy or proliferate?