nl en

Critical Philosophy: Feminism, Gender and Race


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Philosophy of Mind or 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.


We will start by the ideal of universal humanity manifested by the 1789 Declaration of Human Rights and by its criticisms formulated already by Mary Woolstonecraft, Olympe de Gouges and Toussaint Louverture.

We will discuss the "three (or four) waves of feminism" that have addressed the question of feminism in terms of equality, of feminine essentiality, and in relation to postmodernism. We will examine the differences between sex, gender, and sexuality, and study gender that is not limited to the division male/female, and that must also be thought in terms of intersectionality. Among our references are Simone de Beauvoir, Luce Irigaray, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and others.

We will discuss the question of race as a question of colonisation and post-colonial forms of racism (from Franz Fanon to Gloria Wekker), as the question of non-western ways of thinking (Achille Mbembe), and as the question of one or many cultures (e.g. Claude Lévi-Strauss, Race and History; Michel Leiris, Race et civilisation; Philippe Descola, Beyond Nature and Culture, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Cannibal Metaphysics).

Our ultimate objective is to see how the ideal of equality, the respect of alterity and the necessity of living together can be conjugated in the globalized world.

Course objectives

This course aims to give students a solid understanding of the principal historical and contemporary philosophical discussions concerning feminism, sex, gender, race, colonialism and postcolonialism.

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

  • the classical authors and arguments of feminist philosophy, as well as philosophical questions of sex and gender;

  • the most important philosophical positions concerning race, colonialism, and postcolonialism.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • construct many-sided and balanced philosophical analyses and arguments questions concerning sex, gender and race.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


Graded assessment

  • Midterm paper (50%)

  • Final paper (50%)

Non-graded exercise

  • Each student has to present a reading of the literature and discuss it with the group.

The non-graded exercise is required for getting admission to the final exam (paper).


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the two subtests (see above).


The resit consists of a paper and counts as 100% of the grade, overwriting all previous graded exam components.
Class participation is required for taking the resit.
Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade based on the first examinations 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.

Reading list

  • Required readings will be made available on Brightspace.


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.


Prof.dr. S.E. Lindberg


Not applicable.