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Advanced Theories in Gender and Sexuality

Instructor(s): Linda Zerilli and Helen Galvin Ross
Fal 2022

Beginning with the fraught legacy of the New Left and the proliferation of “new social movements” such as feminism and gay liberation, this seminar explores the key debates around which gender and sexuality were articulated as tenacious but open structures of power subject to political critique and social transformation. The relatively stable yet dynamic character of what Gayle Rubin in 1975 famously called “the sex/gender system” raises basic questions of structure and event: (1) how are systemic relations of domination and rule historically constituted and sustained over time?; and (2) how can that which is regularly reproduced be not only momentarily interrupted, but fundamentally altered through both quotidian and extraordinary forms of action and worlding? The unexpected character of the new social movements called for a radical rethinking of structures and their transformation. Haunted by unpredictable forms of resistance, heteropatriarchal structures challenged theorists and activists to forge new frameworks of critique that refigured basic concepts of power, subjectivity, and agency. These frameworks are examined with an eye to how racialized sexuality and gender are created and contested in the context of modern biopolitical capitalism and its constitution of naturalized conceptions of rule. Undergraduate enrollment by Consent.

GNSE 21400 | CCCT 21400 | GNSE 31400 | CCCT 31400