Global Opportunities

PHI2900 : Feminist Philosophy

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce students to particular themes and issues in contemporary feminist philosophy and their relation to culture and society. We tend to take the categories of sex and gender for granted, thinking them ‘natural’. But just as traditional roles assumed by men and women in society are in the process of changing, so these fundamental assumptions about our gendered existence have been examined and critiqued, and the processes in which they are constructed have been analysed by a number of seminal feminist philosophers. Their key ideas will be examined in this module and the influences which shaped them, and which they helped to shape, will be discussed.

Outline Of Syllabus

Content is subject to change depending on staff teaching interests, but an indicative syllabus might include the following:
Key Topics:
1. Introduction: key issues in feminist philosophy
2. The psychoanalytic roots of feminist philosophy
3. Luce Irigaray on the (m)other
4. Julia Kristeva on ‘abjection’
5. Hélène Cixous on écriture feminine
6. Judith Butler on sex and gender
7. Donna Haraway and the “Cyborg Manifesto”

The subjects of the lectures will be augmented by discussions in seminars of specific issues, using examples drawn from recent and contemporary politics.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Essay preparation and completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Tutorials
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00Specific research or reading activities developed and directed a academic staff
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study152:0052:00Review lecture material, prepare for small group teaching and assessment
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide students with a systematic account of the concepts and ideas of the treated thinkers and their relation to key aspects of life, e.g., in politics. Students are given a structured reading list, a set of lecture notes with seminar questions, supported by references to secondary works in order to develop the interpretative, logical and analytical skills required for good argument.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A1002000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The students have the choice between picking an essay title out of six standard topics or designing their own with their tutor’s help and approval. This makes it possible to assess knowledge possession and advanced theoretical understanding as well as the critical and creative verbal skills of the student. The essays test the ability to think analytically, creatively, self-critically and independently as well as managing one’s own work to set time limits. This assessment method also gauges the students’ ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, to cite relevant texts and interpret them adequately, to discover examples in support of or to challenge a position, and to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant considerations.

Reading Lists