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Week 4 - Feminist Gender and Queer Theory

Kayte Stokoe

Preparation for the seminar

In advance of the seminar please read all of the core reading, below. You will each be assigned one piece of core reading to present to the group; some of you may be working in pairs on this task. In your presentation please address the following areas in particular, as well as any other issues you consider worthy of discussion:

  • how would you characterize the relationships between the three areas of theory (feminist, gender and queer) within the piece? can you identify tensions between these areas as well as points of mutual reinforcement?
  • what (other) methodological approaches (e.g. psychoanalytic, anthropological) are mobilized and why? How successfully?
  • what are the strengths and weaknesses of the position or argument, in your view?
  • what further questions does the text raise but leave unresolved?

Core reading

Ahmed, Sara, 'Lesbian Feminism', in Living a Feminist Life (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017), Ch. 9, pp. 213-34. To access this reading click here

Butler, Judith, 'The End of Sexual Difference?', in Undoing Gender (London: Routledge, 2004), Ch. 9, pp. 174-203. To access this reading click here.

Serano, Julia, 'Dismantling Cissexual Privilege', Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (Berkeley: Seal Press, 2007), pp. 161-93. Available from the library in print and electronic copy.

Further reading

Butler, Judith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (London: Routledge, 2nd ed. 1999).

Braidotti, Rosi, 'Radical Philosophies of Sexual Difference, or: I Think Therefore She Is', in Patterns of Dissonance: A Study of Women in Contemporary Philosophy, tr. Elisabeth Guild (Cambridge: Polity, 1991), ch. 8, pp. 209-273, in particular 'Irigaray', pp. 248-263. To access this reading click here.

Edelman, Lee, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004), Ch. 1, in particular pp. 1-17. To access this reading click here

Rubin, Gayle, 'Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality', in Carole S. Vance (ed.), Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (London: Routledge, 1984), pp. 267-319. To access reading click here