Please read the assigned texts before class. This includes the first day’s reading. If you join the class late, catch up as quickly as you can.
We will often move backward and forward in time as we work through concepts and movements, which means you are responsible for attending to dates of publication and considering which ideas authors may or may not have had access to. Pay attention to other contexts too: academic discipline, activist commitment, authorial voice.
There is a lot of assigned reading for this class, and much (though not all) of it is dense and theoretical. Here are two articles on reading scholarship that you might find useful and interesting: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, “We Aren’t Here to Learn What We Already Know,” which describes best practices for deep reading; and Melissa Boone Brown, “How to Read for Grad School,” which discusses how to cope with seemingly-unmanageable reading loads.
Where readings are archived in spaces that require institutional access, links will take you directly to an authentication page where you can log in with your UMD ID. Installing this browser button may speed up your off-campus access. If you are using this syllabus for individual study and cannot access the texts, contact me (alothian at umd dot edu) and I will happily share files with you. If you are able to use institutional journal subscriptions, though, please do, as this helps authors to see that they are being read as well as supporting the work of journals publishing feminist and queer scholarship.
Week 1: 8/29
Setting Intentions and Collective Worldmaking
- Walidah Imarisha, “Introduction” to Octavia’s Brood (OB) (2015)
- Sara Ahmed, “Feminism is Sensational” from Living a Feminist Life (2017)
- Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” (1973); N.K. Jemisin, “The Ones Who Stay and Fight.” (2018); P. H. Lee, “A House by the Sea” (2018).
- fiction content notes: child abuse, institutional violence
Opening reflection due: Monday 9/4 or the Monday after you join the class.
Unit 1: Foundational Critical Race Feminisms
Week 2: 9/5
Praxis as Theory: Black Feminist Groundwork
- Combahee River Collective, “A Black Feminist Statement” (1977); Interview with Barbara Smith by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (2017).
- Bernice Johnson Reagon, “Coalition Politics: Turning the Century” (1981)
- Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House” (1979), “The Uses of Anger” (1981) and “Learning from the 60s” (1982)
- Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” (1989); “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color” (1991)
- Jennifer Nash, “Intersectionality and its Discontents” (2017)
- Alexis Pauline Gumbs, “Evidence” (OB); Walidah Imarisha, “Black Angel” (OB)
- fiction content notes: institutional violence, police violence
Week 3: 9/12
Networks and Bridges: US Women of Color Feminism
- Gloria Anzaldua and Cherrié Moraga (ed), This Bridge Called My Back (1981; 2015). Read all the introductions and as much of the rest of the book as you can.
- Cassius Adair and Lisa Nakamura, “The Digital Afterlives of This Bridge Called My Back” (2017)
- AnaLouise Keating, “Beyond Intersectionality: Theorizing Interconnectivity With/In This Bridge Called My Back” from Transformation Now (2013)
- Dani McClain, “Homing Instinct” (OB); Hiromi Goto, “Notes from Liminal Spaces” (2017)
- fiction content notes: institutional violence
Week 4: 9/19
Feminist Subjects 1: Gendering Bodies
- Gayle Rubin, “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the Political Economy of ‘Sex‘” (1975)
- Judith Butler, “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire,” from Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990)
- Hortense Spillers, “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe: An American Grammar Book” (1987)
- C. Riley Snorton, “Anatomically Speaking: Ungendered Flesh and the Science of ‘Sex,’” from Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (2017)
- Samuel R. Delany, “Aye, And Gomorrah” (1967); Octavia E. Butler, “Bloodchild” (1985)
- fiction content notes: medical and reproductive violence, body horror
Week 5: 9/26
Feminist Subjects 2: Agency and Voice
- Chandra Talpade Mohanty, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses” (1984)
- Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988)
- Linda Alcoff, “The Problem of Speaking for Others” (1991)
- Saba Mahmood, “The Subject of Freedom” from Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject (2005)
- Octavia Butler, “Amnesty” (2004); Aqdas Aftab, “Nuclear Disassociations” (2018)
- fiction content notes: suicide, sexual violence, child sex abuse, PTSD
Contextual Exploration Due: Monday September 30
Unit 2: Intellectual Worldmaking and the Politics of Knowledge
Week 6: 10/3
Trans Worldmaking, Representation, and Everyday Violence
- Andre Cavalcante, Struggling for Ordinary: Media and Transgender Belonging in Everyday Life (2018). Read introduction and chapter 1.
- micha cardenas, “Pregnancy: Reproductive Futures in Trans of Color Feminism” (2016)
- Aren Aizura, “Gender Reassignment and Transnational Entrepreneurialisms of the Self” from Mobile Subjects: Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment (2018)
- C. Riley Snorton and Jin Haritaworn, “Trans Necropolitics: A Transnational Reflection on Violence, Death, and the Trans of Color Afterlife.” (2013)
- Charlie Jane Anders, “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue” (2017); An Owomela, “Three Points Masculine” (2016)
- fiction content notes: institutional violence, medical violence, transphobia
Week 7: 10/10
Crip Worldmaking, Bodyminds, and Neurodiversity
- Alison Kafer, Introduction to Feminist, Queer, Crip (2013)
- Jasbir Puar, “Bodies with New Organs: Becoming Trans, Becoming Disabled” in The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability (2017)
- Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “Cripping the Apocalypse” in Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (2018)
- Melanie Yergeau, Authoring Autism: On Rhetoric and Neurological Queerness (2018). Read introduction and two additional chapters; we will collaborate to ensure all chapters are read.
- Mia Mingus, “Hollow” (OB); Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “Children Who Fly” (OB)
- fiction content notes: institutional violence, ableism, child abuse, PTSD
Week 8: 10/17
Queer Worldmaking, Refusing Respectability, and the Sexual Politics of Racialized Gender
- Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality” (1984).
- Audre Lorde, “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” (1984).
- Juana Maria Rodriguez, “Introduction” to Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings (2014)
- L.H. Stallings, “Introduction” to Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures (2015)
- Tan Hoang Nguyen, “Introduction” to A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation (2014)
- Janelle Monae, “Dirty Computer” (2018)
Week 9: 10/24
Class cancelled (Dr Lothian at a conference)
Visionary Speculation Due
Unit 3: Producing Knowledge and Practicing Politics
Week 10: 10/31
Inhabiting Institutions: “Diversity” and its Discontents
- Sara Ahmed, On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012)
- Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, “The University and the Undercommons: Seven Theses” (2004)
- N.K. Jemisin, “Valedictorian” (2012); Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Shobies’ Story” (1995)
Week 11: 11/7
Refusing Settler Logics: Indigenous Knowledge and Radical Resistance
- Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” (2012)
- Leanne Betasomosake Simpson, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance (2017)
- Leanne Betasomosake Simpson, “Gezizhwazh” (2016); adrienne maree brown, “the river” (OB)
Preliminary Research Meetings
Week 12: 11/14
Pleasurable Politics: online discussion
- adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good (2018)
Preliminary Research Meetings
Week 13: 11/21
Black Feminisms Redux: Worldmaking After Intersectionality?
- Jennifer Nash, Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality (2019)
- Alexis Pauline Gumbs, M Archive: After the End of the World (2019)
Post Project Draft for Online Peer Workshop: Friday Nov 22
Week 14: 11/28
Thanksgiving Break: No Class
Post Peer Drafts: Tuesday Dec 3
Week 15: 12/5
Comment on Peer Drafts: Monday Dec 9
Thursday December 12: Final Projects and Closing Reflections Due