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GEND201 Introduction to Feminist Theory

An exploration of aspects of feminist theory in the context of selected topics.

This paper introduces students to the major themes and debates of feminist theory. In the first part we read feminist theorists and philosophers debating questions of gender and knowledge in the context of Western science and philosophy, and we explore Nietzsche's surprisingly extensive influence on feminist thought.

In the second part we read landmark texts about the social making of gender (Beauvoir's The Second Sex and Butler's Gender Trouble) and intersecting identities of gender race and class (hooks' Feminist Theory From Margin to Centre and Crenshaw's Mapping the Margins).

The final part explores feminist theory today through research about how young people negotiate neoliberalism's cultural politics of personal responsibility and entrepreneurial selfhood.

Paper title Introduction to Feminist Theory
Paper code GEND201
Subject Gender Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

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One of GEND 101, GEND 102, POLS 110, PHIL 103 or 54 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Rebecca Stringer
Paper Structure
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: Gender, science and philosophy
  • Part 2: Theorising sex, gender, race and class
  • Part 3: Reminist theory in neoliberal times
  • Revision and summation
Teaching Arrangements
One 2-hour lecture per week and a weekly tutorial.

Textbooks are not required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

This paper aims to:

  • Aid students in critically analysing major debates within feminist theory.
  • Enable students to comprehend complex theoretical writings.
  • Encourage students to think critically about the production of knowledge.
  • Provide occasion for students to develop their writing and speaking skills in the direction of clear and effective intellectual argumentation.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Friday 10:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Friday 12:00-12:50 30-34, 36-41
T2 Friday 13:00-13:50 30-34, 36-41