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Vulnerability, Gender and the Ethics of Care




Admissions requirements

A relevant 200-level course offered either in the Gender Studies Minor, HD, WP or IJ majors.


Vulnerability, gender and care are core components of our daily lives. Everything we do, in our private lives as well as in our public engagements, relates in one way or another to questions defined by vulnerability, gender and care. In contexts of increased vulnerability due to violence and the spread of systemic risks (from domestic violence to civil wars to environmental change), there is an urgent need to reflect about the intersections between these concepts as key axes to imagine alternatives to navigate and adapt to this uncertain times in more humane ways.

This course is a systematic examination of current scholarly debates about vulnerability and care, using gender as analytic lens. Gender is approached from different perspectives ranging from feminism to ecofeminism, from post-structuralist to post-humanist thinkers. The aim is to engage in these scholarly debates in connection to concrete case-studies and the ethical dilemmas derived from them.

Course objectives


  • To develop the capacity to elaborate a solid and sound argumentative position regarding issues related to the course content.

  • To successfully communicate this thinking position in speaking (presentations and class participation) and writing (weekly reports and final essay),

  • To acquire the necessary communicative and team-work skills to effectively conduct and present a research based case-study in groups.


  • To identify the connections between violence and vulnerability, particularly using gender as a key descriptor of this relation.

  • Explore and understand the relationship between gender and the embodiment of vulnerability and care.

  • Learn the relevant theoretical perspectives in the study of vulnerability and care (as ethics and practice), from feminist to eco-feminist and post-humanist perspectives.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

Two weekly meetings spread over seven weeks comprise the structure of the course. The seminars are conducted based on the instructor mini-lectures introducing the key issues and readings for that day and the students discussion of the course material in connection to case studies identified by them. You are expected to prepare for each class by studying the material required for each session and thinking about its applicability to specific cases where the interplay of vulnerability, gender and care is apparent.


Participation – 15%
Five weekly reports – 25%
Case-study research – 30%
Final essay – 30%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Daniela Vicherat-Mattar