The seminar begins at the end of the sixties, with the second wave of feminism, and continues up to the most radical thought of today. We will consider how the genre of the manifesto frames feminist thought as a living theory—an intervention—to enact change in social orders. You will have the opportunity to write your own manifesto in order to examine how what is personal is also political. Alongside different kinds of written statements and theoretical interventions, we will read, view and discuss controversial artworks and literature, like Beyoncé’s Formation video (2016) and David Wojnarowicz’s hard-hitting prose about queer life under AIDS in “Living Close to the Knives” (1991). The weekly sessions are dedicated to different interventions made by agitated groups within feminist and gender studies, who want to develop the field in new directions and offer a staunch critique. Thus, in the postmodern era women’s studies shifts from critiquing the sexism of the male dominated canon to challenging its own habits of thought as it becomes institutionalized, such as essentialist thinking and single issue identity. We will engage with crucial theorizing that arrives via activism around the on-going AIDS crisis as well as self-determination for transgender, intersex and disabled people. Masculinity studies and queer theory were both launched to complicated and deepen our understandings of gender and sexuality beyond normative femininity and heterosexual orientation. Key concepts like geopolitics, performativity and post-feminism are also addressed as further interventions in how we envision gender and sexuality in contemporary times.
After completion of the course:
the student has the knowledge and understanding of the main current debates about the role that gender and sexuality play in culture, film and literature (from the 1960s to the present);
the student is capable of developing theoretical insights into gender and and sexuality as a discursive, social, technological construction through text and image analysis;
the student can recognize the role of gender and sexuality play in literature, film, and society, and futher, he/she is able to reflect critically on the sexual dimensions of literary and film criticism, historization, and debates on the future of gender and sexuality studies.
The timetable is available on the website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures mixed with workgroup class meetings
Contemporary Visions – 280 total
Course meetings: 26 hrs
Preparation for meetings: 216 hrs
Assignments and Exams: 38 hrs
Analysis assignment (30%);
Group Zine (Complete/Incomplete, assignment completion is mandatory for course);
End-term Written Exam (70%)
Texts are posted on Blackboard
Longer academic texts are available through the ‘collegeplank’ in the University Library and can be copied on site. Shorter texts are posted on Blackboard.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the coordinator Dr. E.A. Steinbock
For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies.