Fall 2021


, 4 pts, GU4000

Even before Laura Mulvey’s classic feminist essay on the “male gaze,” feminist artists and filmmakers, as well as theorists of visuality, have analyzed, critiqued and contested the association of vision with power and knowledge. Creatively reframing the gaze and subverting conventions of visual representation, they have reimagined the relationship of media technologies to embodied and social difference, and to social constructions of gender, race, class and sexuality. This course will study these theories and practices by looking at late 20th and early 21st century painting, film, television, photography, performance, activism and social media in transnational perspective.


The rights of women and sexual minorities have been central to feminist theory and activism. What is the genealogy of “rights talk”? What is its feminist genealogy? As the liberal language of rights has become hegemonic, in particular through international instruments that have linked women’s and sexual rights to human rights and as liberal reform goes global, what is hidden from view? What understandings are foreclosed? What politics are blocked? This course will examine these key questions by exploring feminist and other critiques of liberal paradigms; considering alternative languages and practices for emancipation, and reflecting on assumptions about the human embedded in liberalism, including the idea of human development and capability. We will track the issues by focusing in particular on changing approaches to violence against women (VAW) and gender based violence (GBV).
This course is open to all graduate students and meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies. Priority will be given to those fulfilling the certificate. 

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Marianne Hirsch