Challenging Political Discourses

Course code POLI3120Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Business School

Feminism is a rich and multiple tradition of theory and practice which highlights that politics and power are to be found in our communities, our homes, our bedrooms, our bodies, our emotions, our thinking and our ecologies (both human and non-human). Feminisms thus open up the possibilities of reimagining the practices of democracy, development and our social relationships but also our very construction of identity, sexuality, gender and self. This course opens a window onto this rich and multiple tradition by examining the development of feminist approaches, understandings and practices of politics. It will do this through engaging with multiple feminist traditions and theories in relation to concrete political questions and concerns.
The introduction focuses on feminist ways of knowing and learning. This seeks to foster understandings of the structure of the course with its multiple feminisms content and use of multiple methods of learning. Part One of the course explores three traditions of Western feminism that were dominant until the 1970s: liberal, black and Marxist feminism. Part two moves on to challenges to these dominant frameworks of western feminism from within the West including post-structuralism, queer and anarchist feminism. The Third part of the course explores challenges to the Western canon of feminism from its non-western others, including post-colonial, chicana, indigenous and eco-feminism. For each feminist tradition we will explore their understanding of key concepts such as ‘patriarchy’, ‘sex’, ‘gender’ ‘motherhood’ and the ‘feminine’ and feminist politics and knowledge. This will help us reflect on how these shape questions of politics, democracy, development, human nature and nature. Not available to students who have already passed or are currently enrolled in POLI2120.

Not available in 2015

ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate their acquisition of core analytical and critical skills in the study of politics.
2. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of multiple feminist perspectives, theories and practices.
3. Analyse contemporary social, economic and political relations using these frameworks and theories.
4. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the concept of power and subjectivity and the way these infuse gender relations and gendered practices of power within society.
5. Demonstrate development of reflexive skills to foster an engagement with research and scholarship that is attentive to difference, diversity and power.
6. Demonstrate understanding of the relationships between theory and practice, scholarship and community.
ContentCourse content will include but will not be limited to the following topics:
1. Origins of feminist discourse
2. Discussion of various modern feminist thinkers
3. Analysis of key concepts and terms such as gender, patriarchy, sexual identity, power, subjection, and citizenship.
Replacing Course(s)N/A
TransitionThis course is not available to students who have successfully completed POLI2120.
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge10 units in Politics at 1000 level or 30 units of non politics courses at 1000 level.
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsSeminar
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsResearch Project
Essays / Written AssignmentsEssay
JournalReflective journal
Contact HoursSeminar: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term