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Feminist Theory


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

None, but Introduction to Gender Studies is recommended.


This course introduces contemporary feminist theory from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and theoretical orientations. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the interdisciplinary area of feminist scholarship and its contribution to epistemology, ethics, psychoanalysis, social philosophy and politics. We will begin with exploring what feminism means and how theory can be used to understand and challenge patriarchy and oppression. This class seeks to give an interdisciplinary introduction to contemporary debates concerning gender, identity, race, economic, political and social position. Classical text are read which are extensively discussed in class and related to current debates and empirical topics. This class prepares students to critically assess, analyze and discuss the various perspectives and paradigms of feminist theory. The class is reading-extensive and students are expected to contribute to discussions both in-class as to the weekly Brightspace discussions.

Course Objectives

  • Discuss in depth and critically read feminist theory

  • Compare, critique and placing various perspectives of feminist theories in their historical context

  • Critically examine and evaluate patriarchal assumptions in epistemology, science, politics and discourse

  • Critically understand, discuss and assess texts and being able to use these texts for fruitful and conscientious discussion


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Combination of lectures (first hour) and workgroups (second hour).

Assessment Method

  • Weekly Brightspace discussions (30%)

  • A 1200-essay on a topic of the student’s choice (related to the course) (20%)

  • A take-home exam in week 8 (40%)

  • Presence and participation (10%)

Reading list

The course material will be made available on Brightspace.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Martine Berenpas