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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

GWSS 8108: Genealogies of Feminist Theory

GWSS 8108: Genealogies of Feminist Theory
Fall 2017
Instructor: Zenzele Isoke
Thursday 1-4pm, 400 Ford Hall

This graduate proseminar explores intersections of gender with critical race theories, postcolonial theories, theories of sexuality, social class analyses,  anticolonial and  decolonial perspectives. By de-naturalizing  “women” and “gender” as stable categories and primary subjects or objects of analysis, this course explores how theory is connected to the formation of raced/gendered/sexed bodies, subjectivities, and existences that unsettle and critique Eurocentric genealogies of disciplinary knowledge formation. Rather than approaching feminist genealogy as a practice that traces feminist theories along historical trajectories rooted in a Euro-American tradition, we explore epistemologies and genealogies that deviate from hegemonic understandings of feminist theory.

In fall of 2017 this course will coalesce around three major themes (1) blackness and ontology, (2) phenomenology and affect, and (3) the poetics of decolonial theory-making and writing. One of the central goals of the semester is to resist the impetus to organize questions of epistemology and epistemic violence around the priorities and logics of Eurocentric and white cis-womanhood. Rather, the goal is to center questions of enslavement, social death, and resistant liveness in such ways that opens the psyche and spirit to decolonial and non-violent spatial-temporal ways of being in the academy. The selection of readings also provide a decolonial, and (though to a lesser extent) posthumanist framework through which to analyze and assess the intellectual value of contemporary critical writings across the fields of black feminism,  queer/queer of color criticism, and decolonial feminism, all the while pressing students to imagine, theorize and produce scholarship that rubs against the conventions of neoliberal knowledge-making in the U.S. academy.

Selected Reading List:
Essays from Frantz Fanon and responses
Essays  by Laura Berlant
Writings by Aimé Cèsaire
Essays by Sylvia Wynter and responses
Essays by Sharon Holland
Essays by José Esteban Muñoz
Essays by Elizabeth Freeman
Essays by Christina Sharpe
Essays by Katherine McKittrick

Essays by Roberto Rodriguez
Essays by Walter Mignolo
Essays by Sara Ahmed
Essays by Robyn Weigman
Essays by Himadeep Muppidi
Writings by Edouard Glissant
Essays by Theresa Delgadillo
Essays by Hortense Spiller
Essays by Donna Jones

Summer Reading List

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Yabo by Alexis De Veaux
“The Uses of the Erotic” by Audre Lorde
“Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” by Hortense Spillers
The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study by Stefano Harney & Fred Moten