Feminist Theory: Passionate Politics
Do we theorize as we perform and transform as we enact? In past generations, scholar/activists in gender and sexuality studies have pushed for the passionate and urgent joining of theory and practice as their model of engagement. From the vantage of the classroom however, the everyday routines and the culture of academic life diffuse this energy, sapping much life out of the pursuit of knowledge. The aim of this course is to reconnect the “classic” works of influential theorists to the historical moments of their interventions. Issues and struggles examined include: Second Wave Feminism(s) and the Civil Rights Movement, the “sex wars” and pornography, feminist clashes over the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings, ACT UP campaigns for HIV/AIDS awareness, and mobilizations against Trans-bashing. The course will situate each set of readings in the relation to documentary footage, narrative films, original sources, and historical accounts.