One professor is challenging her students to think about feminism in an all-encompassing light.
Dr. Amrita Hari, an assistant professor in the Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies, is bringing her course, Transitions in Women’s and Gender Studies WGST 4003/5003 (soon to be renamed Traversing Feminisms: Foundational Skills and Theories), to the web. By using an academic, theoretical approach that transcends several contemporary and historical topics, Hari and her students will tackle the ever-growing and expanding world of feminism.
“Feminism is a political and intellectual project that is continually evolving,” Hari says. “It is integral for students to appreciate and think critically about the fissures in feminism, which have been constructive and led to what feminist theories, methods and practices are today.”
Inheriting this course from another instructor presented an opportunity for Hari to add her own interests and twists to it. Hari’s background in global migrations, citizenship and migrants’ intersectional identities lends a unique perspective to the course.
It is easy to see how the broader questions that guide the course reflect her own expertise. Ideas regarding the intersections of gender, sexuality, class and race are common in this area of study. Theories and perspectives stemming from black feminists, postcolonial feminists and the plurality of feminisms – including Marxist, transnational, Indigenous and neoliberal feminisms – are not as widespread.
Beyond imparting the importance of feminism in her students, Hari also hopes to establish a learning community during this course. Her use of online web tools reflects this. Beyond cuPortfolio and sharing ideas virtually, Hari expects her students will identify their role and responsibilities as part of a larger feminist community.
“By the end of the course, my students should be able to demonstrate participation in a learning community based on respect and support, outside of the class,” she says.
In an area of study that is constantly evolving and changing, staying ahead of and on the trend of Women’s and Gender Studies is an invaluable asset. This is an upper year/graduate level course (there are different requirements according to whether it is taken as an undergraduate credit or a graduate credit). To learn more about this course (WGST 4003/5003), see the calendar description.
By Bianca Chan
For more articles, see CUOL’s story archive.