ENGL 555 A: Feminist Theories

Meeting Time: 
TTh 3:30pm - 5:20pm
PAR 112
Eva Cherniavsky
Eva Cherniavsky

Syllabus Description:


Georgia O'Keeffe, "Heliconia" (1939)

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Assignments and Expectations

Course Materials

Office Hours and Contact Information

Supplemental Reading List


Schedule of Reading


Week One

January 4:       

class canceled due to MLA meeting


Week Two

January 9:


Gayle Rubin, “The Traffic in Women”

January 11:

 Laura Mulvey, “Fears, Fantasies, and the Male Unconscious,” “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” and “Afterthoughts on Visual Pleasure” (background:  Freud, “Fetishism” and “The Splitting of the Ego”)


Week Three

January 16:

Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror, chapters 1 and 3

Sylvia Federici, “The Great Caliban”

January 18:

Judith Butler, Antigone’s Claim


Week Four

January 23:

Hortense Spillers, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe” and “Interstices”

January 25:

Donna Haraway, Primate Visions, chapter nine

Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves



Week Five

January 30:

Nancy Hartsock, “The Feminist Standpoint”

Chela Sandoval, “U.S Third World Feminism”

February 1:

Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex”

Robyn Wiegman, “Critical Kinship”


Week Six

February 6:

Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” and “The New Subaltern”

February 8:

Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy


Week Seven

February 13:

Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety, chaps 1, 4, and epilogue

February 15:

Wendy Brown, “Women Dissolved or Defended?” (in-class screening)



Week Eight

February 20:

Laura Kipnis, “Ecstasy Unlimited”

Carla Freccero, "Notes of  a Post-Sex Wars Theorizer"

February 22:

Elizabeth Grosz, “Lesbian Fetishism?”

Kobena Mercer, “Reading Racial Fetishism”

Linda Williams, "Fetishism and Hard Core: Marx, Freud, and the Money Shot"


Week Nine

February 27:

Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex”

Gayle Rubin with Judith Butler, "Sexual Traffic"

March 1:

Octavia Butler, Fledgling      


Week Ten

March 6:

Leo Bersani, “Is the Rectum a Grave?”

Darieck Scott, “Slavery, Rape, and the Black Male Abject” and “Notes on Black Power Bottoms”

March 8:

Lauren Berlant, “The Predator and the Jokester”

Masha Gessen, “Sex, Consent, and the Dangers of Misplaced Scale” and “The Selective Force of #MeToo”

Judith Levine, “Will Feminism’s Past Mistakes Haunt #MeToo?”


Last updated: 
October 17, 2018 - 10:20pm