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Feminist Theories in Chinese and Japanese Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy: Global and Comparative Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Language of Thought, and Concepts of Selfhood.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


It has long been debated whether feminism and multiculturalism are friends. How shall we philosophize experiences of women in different cultures and how can we engage in feminist philosophies in a global context? In answering these questions, this course starts with an overview of major feminist theories (liberal feminism, Marxist and Socialist feminism, and Radical feminism) with a focus on their contributions and limitations to philosophizing feminist consciousness, gender relations, and social structure. To expand the horizon, this course continues to explore how Chinese and Japanese philosophers, especially women, exercise their agency to conceptualize gender, sexuality, and womanhood. This exploration enables us to reassess the interplay between feminism and multiculturalism.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • explore ways of theorizing gender, womanhood, and sexuality in Chinese and Japanese philosophy;

  • encourage studies of feminist philosophy in a cross-cultural context.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • major feminist theories, their innovations and limitations;

  • contemporary philosophical debates over feminism and multiculturalism;

  • feminist philosophy and philosophy of gender as integral parts of Chinese and Japanese philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • familiarize themselves with different ways of theorizing gender, sexuality, and womanhood;

  • critically engage in studies of gender and sexuality;

  • analyze ideas and notions presented in primary and secondary resources;

  • develop skills in academic writing and cross-cultural communication.


The timetable is available on the following website:

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Course load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars (13 weeks x 3 hrs): 39 hours

  • Reading literature and preparation for class: 120 hours;

  • Preparation for assignment(s) and paper(s): 100 hours;

  • Preparation for seminars: 21 hours

Assessment method


  • Final essay

  • Prepared questions for lectures

  • Attendance and participation in course discussion


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests:

  • Final essay: 55%

  • Prepared questions (to be further explained in the syllabus): 35%

  • Attendance and participation: 10%


The resit will consist of an opportunity to resubmit the final semester paper that was not sufficient. The grades for other exam components remain in place.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the course cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Instruction and communication

  • Posting links for readings

  • Uploading additional materials, e.g. PowerPoints slides

Reading list

The reading list will be posted on Blackboard.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. J. Li


Not applicable.