PHIL 316- Philosophy of Feminism--Fall 2017
Course Description: It may be surprising to discover that throughout its history, philosophy has been overwhelmingly sexist. Most philosophical theories have explicitly or implicitly favored men and insulted or ignored women. Recently, however, feminist philosophers (both female and male) have sought to correct this bias by thinking through how the world would be different if women were considered as important as men. In this class we will participate in this project by studying some of the most influential and important recent work in philosophical feminism. While we will address questions of feminism philosophically, students need not have a background in philosophy. This is a class for any student who is interested in understanding and assessing the role of gender in our lives. The four units will be:
Defining Feminism: What is sexism, exactly? At its best, what is feminism?
Defining Sex and Gender: What is the relationship between sex and gender? Is gender a performance? Is gender natural and good, or is gender somehow unjust?
The Significance of Gender to Philosophy: Does the “rational objectivity” that philosophers seek have a masculine bias? How do gender roles affect our views of morality and the self?
Feminism in Practice: This unit will include a civic engagement project in which students will draw upon feminist perspectives to rethink a “normal” social practice. As a class we will read a book on sexual violence: Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from the Hunger Games to Campus Rape Kelly Oliver. Then students will choose a book to study in a small group.
PHIL 306/ENVR 305- Animals & Ethics--Sample Syllabus
Fall 2014 | Spring 2017
Students addressed practical questions about what can and should be done to protect animals from cruel treatment by focusing on the Maryland Animal Welfare Act, a legislative initiative to be introduced in 2015 to address animal welfare violations. Students worked in teams to organize and carry out a public forum on campus about this legislation. Each student then wrote a 1000-word report in which they discussed and reflected on their activities, and drew their own conclusions about the Maryland Animal Welfare Act.