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Předmět, akademický rok 2018/2019
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History of Feminist Theories - YMG207
Anglický název: History of Feminist Theories
Zajišťuje: Katedra genderových studií (24-KGS)
Fakulta: Fakulta humanitních studií
Platnost: od 2018
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 8
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:2/2 Zk [hodiny/týden]
Počet míst: neomezen / neurčen (neurčen)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Staré označení: YMG45PPZI
Poznámka: student může plnit i v dalších letech
Garant: Mgr. Ĺubica Kobová, M.A., Ph.D.
Vyučující: Mgr. Ĺubica Kobová, M.A., Ph.D.
Korekvizity : YMGSZ200, YMG208, YMG209
Je korekvizitou pro: YMG209
Je prerekvizitou pro: YMG210, YMG211
Anotace -
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ĺubica Kobová, M.A., Ph.D. (04.10.2017)
Kurz zoznamuje študentky a študentov so základnými pojmami a argumentmi feministických teórií. Ťažisko kurzu tvorí objasnenie hlavných diskusií v tzv. prvej a druhej vlne feminizmu. V tomto zmysle sleduje spojenie feminizmu s ďalšími dominantnými politickými ideológiami 19. a 20. storočia – liberalizmom a socializmom. Ďalej predstavuje zásadný príspevok k teoretickému uchopeniu rodového poriadku (genderového řádu), ktorý predstavil radikálny feminizmus druhej vlny, ako aj komplexnosť spojenia uchopenia rodového (genderového) útlaku v spojitosti so sexualitu, „rasou“ a etnicitou. V závere sa zameriava na dôsledné objasnenie chápania performativity rodu a rekapituluje pojem rod (gender) a od neho odvodené pojmy opisujúce rodové (genderové) usporiadanie spoločnosti.
Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ĺubica Kobová, M.A., Ph.D. (09.10.2018)

History of Feminist Theories

8 credits

Winter 2018/2019

Monday: 14:15 – 16:15 (Veleslavín Campus; classroom FHS1 C001)

Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague



Ľubica Kobová, PhD. (Lubica.Kobova@fhs.cuni.cz)

Office hours: Monday, 16:30 – 18:45 (Veleslavín Campus, office C015). Please use an online form to sign up for a consultation - https://goo.gl/aaenHU.


Course description

The course aims to familiarize students with fundamental concepts and argumentation of feminist theories. The focus is mainly on clarifying the commonalities and differences in first-wave and second-wave debates. Therefore the interconnections with dominant ideologies of 19th and 20th centuries – liberalism and socialism – are explored in detail. Furthermore, it focuses on theoretical contributions of second-wave radical feminism as it analyzed and conceptualized existing gender order. The last segment of the course aims to provide students with a framework for understanding the performativity of gender as well as to recapitulate various understandings of gender as they were discussed in the course.

The first – and shorter – part of our meetings will be a lecture, in which I will provide the framework for the theories under discussion. The second part will be devoted to discussions based on your readings.


Learning goals

·        To clarify various theoretical explanations of the causes of gender inequality and their normative groundings.

·        To internalize the understanding of both advantages and limits of discussed theories with regard to historical-political events.

·        To enhance the ability to understand complex theoretical arguments.


Requirements and grading

a)      Students are required to attend all classes. In case of absence from the class, the student must notify the instructor in advance with regard to the absence and the reason for the absence.

b)     Students are expected to actively participate in the class discussion (20 %). Therefore it is important to carefully read the assigned readings before the class.

Unless you are instructed otherwise, the preparation for the discussion involves:

-        A short summary of the text (or texts), which clearly identifies the topic, main thesis, supporting arguments and concepts stated and used in the text.

-        Written formulation of at least one question with regard to the text (or texts) to be analyzed in class or written formulation of an objection to the argument (including an attempt to reply to the objection).

The aforementioned preparation will be checked by the instructor randomly during semester.

c)      Two short written assignments, that will test critical understanding of read and taught material (40 %). 1st assignment focuses on first-wave feminism and Beauvoir, 2nd assignment focuses on second-wave feminism. – You will submit all your written assignments via Turnitin (https://knihovna.cuni.cz/rozcestnik/turnitin/, the class ID: 16685425; the enrollment key: simone). A short tutorial on Turnitin is available in the SIS.

d)     Final exam will focus on critical and comparative assessment of concepts and arguments (40 %). It will be a take-home exam written during the exam period; exam dates will be announced in the last class.

e)      Academic integrity: Correct referencing and crediting others for their work is inseparable part of academic integrity. Plagiarism of any kind – be it intentional or not – is not acceptable and will be referred to the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities as well as to the Disciplinary Committee for consideration. Students are expected to follow the rules of correct referencing that they will familiarize themselves with in the Academic Writing and Literary Theory course.


Electronic policy Use of laptops is not forbidden. However, reading and annotating of printed texts as well as notetaking in handwriting is strongly encouraged.

Special learning accommodations policy If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please, notify your instructor.



Course schedule

All assigned readings are available as a .zip file in the SIS or in Dropbox.


Week 1 (October 1): Reading week


Week 2 (October 8): Feminism and feminist theory

hooks, b. (1991). Theory as liberatory practice. Yale Journal of Law & Feminism, 4(1), Article 2. Retrieved from: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol4/iss1/2


Week 3 (October 15): Enlightenment feminism, French Revolution and universalism of human rights

Declaration of human and civic rights of 26 august 1789. (2002). Retrieved from http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/conseil-constitutionnel/root/bank_mm/anglais/cst2.pdf

 de Gouges, O. (1983). Declaration of the rights of woman and citizen. In S. G. Bell & K. M. Offen (Eds.), Women, the family and freedom : the debate in documents : volume 1, 1750 - 1880 (pp. 104 - 109). Stanford: Stanford University Press.


Week 4 (October 22): First wave: liberal feminism

Wollstonecraft, M. (1995). A vindication of the rights of men with A vindication of the rights of woman and Hints. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dedication (pp. 67 – 70), Chapter 4 (selection: pp. 126 – 132).

Mill, J. S. (1992). The subjection of women. In S. Collini (Ed.), J. S. Mill : On Liberty and other writings. Cambridge & New York & Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1 (pp. 119 – 145).


Week 5 (October 29): First wave: socialist feminism

Engels, F. (1999). The origin of the family, private property, and the state. In R. C. Tucker (Ed.), Marx / Engels reader (pp. 734 - 759). New York: Norton.

Kollontai, A. (1977). Communism and the family (A. Holt, Trans.). In A. Holt (Ed.), Selected writing of Alexandra Kollontai (pp. 250 - 260). New York: Norton.


Week 6 (November 5): Between the waves: Simone de Beauvoir

Beauvoir, S. d. (2009 / 2011). The second sex (C. Borde & S. Malovany-Chevallier, Trans.): Vintage. Volume I (Facts and myths): Introduction (pp. 16 – 22); Part 3: Myths, Chapter 3 (pp. 147 – 151); Volume II (Lived experience): Part 4: Toward liberation, Chapter 14: The independent woman (pp. 370 – 372 = /.../ „her fatigue are multiplied as a result“; pp. 383 – 384 = „Indeed, for one to“ /.../).


Week 7 (November 12): Second wave: liberal feminism

Friedan, B. (2001). Feminine mystique. New York & London: W. W. Norton & Company. Chapter 1: The problem that has no name (pp. 44 – 54); Chapter 3: The crisis in women’s identity (pp. 96 – 103)

Jaggar, A. M. (1977). Political philosophies of women´s liberation. In M. Vetterling-Braggin, F. A. Elliston, & J. English (Eds.), Feminism and philosophy (pp. 5 – 21). Totowa, New Jersey: Littlefield, Adams & Co.


Week 8 (November 19): Second wave: radical feminism

Millett, K. (2016/1969). Sexual politics. New York: Columbia University Press. Chapter 2: Theory of sexual politics, pp. 23 – 58

Daly, M. (1978). Gyn/ecology : the metaethics of radical feminism. Boston: Beacon Press. Prelude to the First Passage, pp. 37 – 42.


Week 9 (November 26): Second wave: Marxist and socialist feminism

Ehrenreich, B. (1995). Life without father : reconsidering socialist-feminist theory. In N. Tuana & R. Tong (Eds.), Feminism and philosophy : essential readings in theory, reinterpretation, and application: Westview Press.

Federici, S. (2012). Wages against housework. In Revolution at point zero : housework, reproduction, and feminist struggle (pp. 15 - 22). Oakland & New York & London: PM Press & Common Notions & Autonomedia.


Week 10 (December 3): Critiques of the second wave: against heteronormativity and whiteness

The Combahee River Collective : A black feminist statement. (1978). In Z. R. Eistenstein (Ed.), Capitalist patriarchy and the case for socialist feminism (pp. 362 – 372). New York: Monthly Review Press.

Wittig, M. (1992). One is not born a woman The straight mind and other essays (pp. 9 – 20). New York: Harvester - Wheatsheaf.


Week 11 (December 10): Gender as performative

Butler, J. (1999/1990). Gender trouble : feminism and the subversion of identity. New York & London: Routledge. Part III, Chapter 4: Bodily inscriptions, performative subversions (pp. 163 – 180); Conclusion: from parody to politics (pp. 181 – 190)

Foucault, M. (1978). The history of sexuality : volume 1 : an introduction (R. Hurley, Trans.). New York: Pantheon Books. Part IV: The deployment of sexuality, Chapter 2: Method (pp. 92 – 98 “mobile power relations”); p. 102 (“In short, it is a question…”).


Week 12 (December 17): Gender as theoretical concept. Recapitulation

Scott, J. W. (1999). Gender : a useful category of historical analysis. In Gender and the politics of history : revised edition (pp. 28 - 52): Columbia University Press.)


Week 13 (January 7): Reading week


Syllabus can be subject to change during the semester.



Recommended literature

Bock, G. (2002). Women in European history. London: Wiley.

Bryson, V. (2003). Feminist political theory : an introduction (2nd ed.). London: Palgrave Macmilan.

Jaggar, A. M. (1983). Feminist politics and human nature. Totowa, NJ: Rowman & Allanheld.

Offen, K. (2000). European feminisms, 1700 - 1950. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Tong, R. (2014). Feminist thought : a more comprehensive introduction. Philadelphia: Westview Press.

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