GEND3901 Feminist Thought

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 3 elective
This unit examines the history and philosophy of feminism, from its emergence in eighteenth-century liberal humanism to the present. It is thematically developed around two themes; the centrality of both gender and feminism to the construction and articulation of modernity; and contemporary challenges of 'remembering' feminism. Students read key texts by protofeminist or feminist writers from a range of disciplines, such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Daly, Audre Lorde, the French feminists, bell hooks, Donna Haraway, and Gloria Anzaldua. Through this interdisciplinary survey, students critically evaluate the multiple strands of feminist thought, including liberal, radical, socialist, psychoanalytic, ecological, postcolonial, postmodern and post-feminist. Students undertake 'slow readings' of the key texts, with workshops and some assessments foregrounding affective or 'feelingful' responses which are explored prior to critical and analytical exploration of the texts. This work of 'slow reading' is linked to a methodological focus on (1) the role of affect in knowledge production; and (2) the importance of listening in fostering transformative cultural change.
Students are able to (1) acquire a sophisticated understanding of the major political, social and philosophical issues analysed by feminists; (2) gain a historicised understanding of theorisations of gender; (3) achieve a comprehensive knowledge of a range of feminist positions (e.g. liberal, radical, socialist, postmodern) and their associated readings of gender and sexual difference; (4) acquire a sophisticated understanding of the major political, social and philosophical issues analysed by feminists; (5) enhance awareness of and capacity to reflect upon unconscious bias; and (6) refine both written and oral communication strategies for negotiating gender and difference.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) dialogue and collaboration; (2) themes and concepts quiz; and (3) a research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Chantal Bourgault du Coudray
Unit rules
any Level 1 Arts unit
WOMN2200 Text and Gender
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 2_2019 [SEM-2_2019]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.