Last update: doc. Věra Sokolová, M.A., Ph.D. (11.09.2021)
Last update: Mgr. et Mgr. Tereza Jiroutová Kynčlová, Ph.D. (26.09.2023)
Univerzita Karlova v Praze | Charles University in Prague
Fakulta humanitních studií | School of Humanities
Studijní program genderových studií | Graduate Program in Gender Studies
COMPARATIVE GENDER IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
MANDATORY COURSE, 2nd year, 4 ECTS
Winter 2023 Academic Year 2023/2024
Mgr. et Mgr. Tereza Jiroutová Kynčlová, Ph.D.
Office hours: Room 2.40, Monday 8:30-10, 13-14 pm; During Distance Learning Blocs (October 6-8; November 2-5 and 24-26; December 15-17; January 6-8): Friday 15:30-16:30, Sunday 12:30-14 OR online via MST upon email request at email@example.com. Please, do let me know via email that you are interested in meeting for a consultation of an issue or a topic and we will agree on a date and time for a meeting either in person or online.
“The danger lies in ranking the oppressions. The danger lies in failing to acknowledge the specificity of the oppression. The danger lies in attempting to deal with oppression purely from a theoretical base. Without an emotional, heartfelt grappling with the source of our own oppression, without naming the enemy within ourselves and outside us, no authentic, non-hierarchical connection among oppressed groups can take place.” (Cherríe Moraga  1983: 29)
“Alliance work is the attempt to shift positions, change positions, reposition ourselves regarding our individual and collective identities. In alliance we are confronted with the problem of how we share or don’t share space, how we can position ourselves with individuals or groups who are different from and at odds with each other, how we can reconcile one’s love for diverse groups when members of these groups do not love each other, cannot relate to each other, and don’t know how to work together.” (Gloria Anzaldúa 1990b: 219)
This is a mandatory course for ALL second year students. The course is taught jointly for international and Czech students of the M.A. program in Gender Studies irrespective whether they are enrolled in the present or distance-learning form of study. The main purpose and goal of this mandatory course is to offer an opportunity for the diverse student body enrolled within the program to meet together in a formal academic setting and discuss the institutional, legal, social, political and personal aspects of the chosen topics as well as to encourage student networking, solidarity and mutual support.
The working language of the course is English, i.e. all communication – spoken and written in class or outside of it – will be conducted in English. While native English speakers may be at advantage, we will strive to sustain an environment where non-native English speakers will be encouraged to speak with regards to their active spoken English skills. Aspiring to create a learning environment in which people of all identities are encouraged to contribute their perspectives to academic discourse, this course (and the Gender Studies Program in general) enforces language, which is gender-inclusive, non-sexist, non-racist and culturally sensitive. That means using words that affirm and respect how people describe, express, and experience their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, religion and other aspects of their identity. It’s important to think through the implications of our arguments and formulations, especially in this class, which is discussion-only. All of us are responsible for maintaining an environment that is respectful toward others.
This course focuses on several currently and cross-nationally debated topics related to gender and sexuality, both as aspects of personal identity politics as well as theoretical, institutional, political and social questions. Purposefully, the four selected topics are conceived quite broadly in order to facilitate an in-depth discussion of definitions, diverse positions and experiences within each theme. All chosen issues have been in recent years pushed to the front of media attention and covered from a variety of viewpoints, with differing outcomes and consequences in different countries and contexts, giving the students the opportunity to discuss the comparative dimensions of these topics. As such, the course is designed for 2nd-year M.A. students who have already taken the core mandatory courses in feminist theory, sociology of gender, feminist cultural and literary studies and sexuality studies. It is expected that students draw on the knowledge(s) they have produced and mastered in the said courses as well as throughout their academic and activist engagement with Gender Studies elsewhere.
There are no written assignments in this course beyond written preps for discussions prepared in the class itself (to be explained in first class). The goal of the course is to facilitate informed and competent academic discussion in English in international and multicultural environment. All requirements relate to a student’s ability to read and understand the assigned texts, to their independent preparation for and regular attendance of the seminar, and their willingness to actively share and discuss their arguments and viewpoints in the seminar itself.
FAIR ACADEMIC CONDUCT
Failure to acknowledge and properly reference sources of any kind used in assignments, papers and/or presentations is a breach to academic integrity and ethics. At all times, avoid plagiarism of any sort as it is a disciplinary offence and – upon the Faculty of Humanities Disciplinary Committee ruling – may result in termination of study. Presenting some else’s work or ideas as your own and failure to provide credits, acknowledgement, and references to all relevant sources falls under the definition of plagiarism. Should you experience uncertainty about correct ways of quoting and referencing, consult any citation manual and feel free to contact your teachers for advice. We are ready to help you. Also, be advised that the necessity to reference other people’s work and ideas applies equally to published texts (journals, books, articles, newspapers etc.) as well as unpublished texts (lectures, presentations, seminars, student papers, diploma theses etc.). Further, other forms of conveying information besides text are also subject to crediting and referencing, such as video material, audio material, computer code, photographs, graphs, illustrations, sheet music, web sites etc.
STUDENT ACCOMMODATIONS: If you have learning disabilities or you are struggling with the current pandemic-related situation and need more time to think, write and work, feel free to let me know anytime and we will find a way to make you feel comfortable while taking the course and meeting its requirements. Thank you.
NOTE: Students must complete all requirements listed below in order to receive a grade for the course.
1. Attendance and Active Participation in Class Discussions (80%)
2. Written reaction paper after all 4 blocs (20%) - deadline: January 14, 2023
Attendance is MANDATORY! If you must miss a class, only serious reasons excused in advance are accepted. In case of absence, you will be asked to engage with the assigned texts in writing! Should you not be able to attend a course session, please let me know via email NO LATER than THURSDAY 2 p.m., i.e. the day preceding our Friday session.
WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS FOR MISSED CLASSES
If you missed one (or more) of the classes during the semester and did not come to the discussions on the given Friday, you will be required to write a short essay (700 words) on question/s for each of the class you missed. The list of questions will be made available in the SIS. Your essays are to be uploaded in MST. Deadline: January 14, 2023
Discussion is the central pedagogical method of this class. The class will be run as a pure discussion seminar, which means that the quality of discussions will be resting and depending on careful readings of the assigned material. Discussion seminar classes can offer a rewarding way to shape associations, raise stimulating questions, and push people into new areas of thinking. Unfortunately, discussion seminars can also be tedious, frustrating, and a waste of time if all members don't come prepared to talk or if all members don't feel free and safe to talk. The former is each member's responsibility; the latter is a collective one. You are responsible for doing all of the mandatory readings on time, coming to the seminar with thought-out ideas and questions about the texts and the discussed theme.
I expect everyone to come to class prepared to discuss the readings and the topic in a mature and respectful way. If you think a particular reading or topic might be especially challenging or unsettling you should speak with me in advance. Regular attendance in class is mandatory and missing more than two seminars may result in a failure to pass the course. Only passive attendance or participating in discussion only intuitively without having read the assigned readings will be evaluated by a lower grade.
Our topics and course readings and ensuing discussions will often focus on mature, difficult, and potentially challenging topics. As with any course in the Gender Studies MA Program, course topics will be political and personal. Readings and discussions might trigger strong feelings — anger, discomfort, anxiety, confusion, excitement. Some of us will have emotional responses to the readings; some of us will have emotional responses to our peers’ understanding of the readings and the topics; all of us should feel responsible for creating a space that is both intellectually rigorous and respectful. Above all, be respectful (even when you strongly disagree) and be mindful of the ways that our identities position us in the classroom.
Aspiring to create a learning environment in which people of all identities are encouraged to contribute their perspectives to academic discourse, this course (and the Gender Studies Program in general) enforces language, which is gender-inclusive, non-sexist, non-racist and culturally sensitive. That means using words that affirm and respect how people describe, express, and experience their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, religion and other aspects of their identity. It’s important to think through the implications of our arguments and formulations, especially in this class, which is discussion-only. All of us are responsible for maintaining an environment that is respectful toward others.
Mandatory Readings: All texts are available for downloading in SIS and MST.
Should you not be able to attend a course session, please let me know via email NO LATER than THURSDAY 2 p.m., i.e. the day preceding our Friday session.
-All instruction will be conducted in person. MS Teams will serve as a tool for online instruction ONLY should we need to self-quarantine due to covid 19-related restrictions.
-All reading materials are uploaded in the respective files in the SIS.
-All submissions (only in word document format, please) must be uploaded through the MST Assignment features.
-All course-related communication should be conducted via MST chat, or by contacting me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SESSION TOPICS AND DATES
SESSION 1, October 6, 12.30-15.25 p.m., room 2.42
Gender Bias (and an easy course lead-in and an ice-breaker)
Criado Perez, Caroline. “Introduction: The Default Man” in: Invisible Women. Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. New York, Abrams Press, 2019, pg. 12-36.
Marçal, Katrine. “1 In Which We Invent The Wheel And, After 5.000 Years, Manage To Attach It To a Suitcase,” in: Mother of Invention. How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men. New York, Abrams Press, 2019, pg. 6-24.
SESSION 2, November 3, 12.30-15.25 p.m., room 2.42
“Antigenderism” and “Gender Ideology”
Elizabeth Corredor, “Unpacking ‘Gender Ideology’ and the Global Right’s Antigender Countermovement, ” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 2019, vol. 44, no. 3, pg. 613-638.
Korolczuk, Elzbieta, Graff, Agnieszka Graff. “Gender as Ebola from Brussels.” The Uses and Abuses of the Anti-Colonial Frame in: Anti-Gender Politics in the Populist Moment. London, New York: Routledge, 2022, pg. 92-113.
Parmanand, Sharmila. “Macho Populists Versus COVID: Comparing Political Masculinities”, European Journal of Women’s Studies, 2022, vol. 29, no. 1, pg. 43S–59S.
SESSION 3, November 24, 12.30-15.25 p.m., room 2.42
Sexual Violence, Gender-Based Violence, Abortion, War
AN ARTICLE ON THE CURRENT WAR IN UKRAINE - a decolonial, CEE perspective - TBA
Touquet, Heleen et. al. “From ‘It Rarely Happens’ to ‘It’s Worse for Men’: Dispelling Misconceptions about Sexual Violence against Men and Boys in Conflict and Displacement”, Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, 2020, vol. 2, no. 3, pg. 25–34.
Žarkov, Dubravka. Co-Option, Complicity, Co-Production: Feminist Politics on War Rapes”, European Journal of Women’s Studies, 2016, vol. 23, no. 2, pg. 119–123.
Pollit, Katha. “Who Has Abortions?”, The Nation, March 13, 2015, online.
Kaur, Harmeet. “The language we use to talk about pregnancy and abortion is changing. But not everyone welcomes the shift“, CNN, September 4, 2022, online.
Facci, AC. “Why We Use Inclusive Language to Talk About Abortion“, American Civil Liberties Union, June 29, 2022, online.
Baker, Carrie N., Thomsen, Carly. “The Importance of Talking About Women in the Fight Against Abortion Bans”, Ms. Magazine, June 23, 2022, online.
SESSION 4, December 15, 12.30-15.25 p.m., room 2.42
Feminism, Whiteness, Tools of Protest, Coalitions
Hurtado, Aída. “Critical Race Theory and Questioning Whiteness: Young Feminists Speak Out Against Race and Class Privilege”, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 2019, vol. 40, no. 3, pg. 90-116.
Gago, Verónica. “#We Strike: Notes Towards a Political Theory”, in: Feminist International. How To Change Everything, London, New York: Verso, 2020, pg. 9-55.
Youssef, Maro. “Unlikely Feminist Coalitions: Islamist and Secularist Women’s Organizing in Tunisia”, Social Politics, Summer 2021, pg. 1–21.