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Shaping the Rest of the Semester

pejordan's picture

This is what Ellen, Shannon, JD and I came up with:

Overall theme: less binary division; also recognizing that not all women are the same, want the same things, etc.

-Three classes focusing on controversial women (Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, potentially Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter); are their voices being heard? (potentially discussing motherhood more)

-Three classes looking at queer studies; Eli Claire--> disability and queerness; also exclusion of trans-women from feminist circles

-Three classes exploring sex work; interesting power plays, how women are viewed in sex work differently than men

Ideas regarding class structure in general:

-Having more optional/supplementary texts, films, and materials to account for the varying levels of experience with gender studies

-Looking at more films in general, also discussing the problems of documentaries some more

-Using hand-raising as simply a means to signal that you have something to say, not necessarily having to leave your hand in the air

-Trying to make the classroom seem smaller--> an actual circle, stop using the projector?


buffalo's picture


I really like the idea of spending some time on sex work. I think a way to incorporate your suggestion of documentaries while addressing the issue of seeing more than one point of view is showing documentaries that have opposing view points. I liked the idea of talking about the difference between how men and women and seen in sex work, and we could perhaps do this via pornography. I would be interested in learning about how much porn is female dominated versus male dominated, and discussing what that means. I am also interested in spending some time on queer literature, and getting into the issues of trans-women being excluded from feminist circles.

I liked the thought about making the room smaller. I think making a more intimate circle could make it easier for people so speak out, and even just hear each other; although I'm not sure how to deal with the issue of the projector?

mbeale's picture

Looking into Queer Lit!

I'd really like where your lesson plans seem to be heading as far as queer studies. May I suggest James Baldwin's novel, Giovanni'ss Room for consideration? Other than being an absolutely gorgeously written novel, it brings up a complex set of issues concerning coming into one's queerness and one's human identity in general. 

Here's an excerpt! It's such a wonderful piece!

dchin's picture

Content: I also enjoy the

Content: I also enjoy the idea of discussing controversial women. However, again, how would we choose which women are controversial? To whom are they controversial? By what standards? Why do we consider them controversial? This line of conversation makes me think of something Elana brought up in our group discussion: is feminism inherently liberal? 

Form: Love the handraising! I don't think we should stop using the projector, however. I enjoy and sometimes need the visual references that having Serendip up allows. If the point of changing the circle is to make it feel like more of a discussion, then how much of a role/what role do we want Anne to play in our discussions? More facilitation? Less? I happen to enjoy the way that Anne guides our discussions. We can wander but she keeps on on track and moving toward the overarching themes/ideas. 

epeck's picture

I am very interested in

I am very interested in looking at feminism, or at least women's roles, in popular media.  I would never have thought of reading Amy Chua's book, but now that it was brought up, I hope we do!  It would be very relevent and we could explore how motherhood and womanhood is viewed today, while also bringing in cultural differences.  I also like the circle idea.  Maybe if Anne sat in a chair in the circle?  It might seem like more of a discussion group than a course (which could be good).