Syllabus Draft: GIS 3614, Seminar in Feminist Theory (Fall 2014)

Below is part of my syllabus draft for GIS 3614, Seminar in Feminist Theory for Fall 2014. Several important changes have been made since I last taught the class: 1) the major project for the class involves creating and adding knowledge to Wikipedia on feminist theory in lieu of a final research paper, 2) this class is part of the FemTechNet DOCC (Distributed Online Collaborative Course), and will function as a Feminist Theory node along with courses taught at The College of New Jersey with Prof Marla Jaksch and West Virginia University with Prof Brian Jara.

GIS 3614: Seminar in Feminist Theory Instructor: Professor Adeline Koh

Course Description:

This course serves as the capstone course for all students pursuing a minor in Women and Gender Studies. It is also open to other interested students. In this course, students will read and discuss important texts within feminist theory. This course covers how gender factors into how human beings create, interpret and produce knowledge claims about the world. We will learn about the history of feminist thought in its various stages, and evaluate the strengths, insights and weaknesses of different theoretical standpoints. The major project for the class will be to add 1000 words to Wikipedia on feminism and feminist theory.
In this course we will: 1) Explore the history of feminist theory (and different ways of conceptualizing this history) 2) Consider the intersections of feminism with other forms of oppression, such as race, class, and colonialism, 3) Improve our conceptual skills, critical thinking, and oral and written communications through Wikipedia editing.
**This class will participate in a Feminist Theory node of the FemTechNet DOCC, with a class at the College of New Jersey (taught by Prof. Marla Jaksch) and a class at West Virginia University (taught by Prof. Brian Jara).

The three essential goals for this class are to: 1) Learn fundamental principles, generalizations and theories (i.e. What is feminist theory? What is the relationship of feminist theory to philosophy?) 2) Learn to apply course material (i.e. How can we apply feminist theory to the world around us?) 3) Learn to analyze and critically evaluate ideas (i.e. What is the worth of feminist theory, what are its strong points and what are its limitations?)

Another important goal of this course is for you to: 1) Develop skill in expressing yourself in writing (through writing regular critical analyses, longer papers, and putting together a presentation).

Course Wikipedia Page

Texts
Required text: Feminist Theory Reader, Carole McCann and Seung-kyung Kim

Grading Breakdown
Participation: 25%
Includes critical questions homework and revised critical questions, active participation in class, daily writing exercises and online daily writing and comments.
TWITTER AND FACEBOOK: You can IMPROVE your participation grade by tweeting or Facebooking in the class Facebook group about the class and the ideas you have learnt regularly. We will sign up for twitter accounts the second week of classes together. You have to use the hashtag #femtheory and send the tweet to me @adelinekoh so I can record your tweets for your participation grade. Tweeting regularly by engaging with ideas from the class (more than 3x a week) will boost your participation grade. (Tweeting about your breakfast, however, will not.) If you want credit for your tweets, please fill out the twitter form (link provided on the class Canvas site.) Join the Facebook FemTheory DOCC Group here—you will also see students from participating classes in West Virginia University and The College of New Jersey.

Peer Review Assignments 15%
You will be graded by your groupmates on how helpful your comments were in revising their homework assignments. Your groupmates (and you) will each submit a review of each other’s peer review work on most Thursdays, along with the revised critical questions.

Twitter vs. Zombies game 5%
We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Feminist Wikipedia Editing Assignments 55%
In place of a midterm and final paper for this course, you will be tasked with adding 500 words on Wikipedia on feminist theory topics over the semester. You will learn how to edit Wikipedia using appropriate sources and add feminist theory content to the site.
This section of your grade (55%) will be further broken down into the following:
20% Participation in Wikipedia assignments
10% Participation in Wikipedia discussions in class
25% Peer Reviews and Collaboration with Classmates
45% Reflective Essay and quality of main Wikipedia contributions

Assignments

Critical Questions Homework: With the exception of the first week of class, you will answer the critical questions as a homework assignment on most Tuesdays. You will have to POST a digital copy to the forum by Tuesday 8.30am AND bring a copy of these answers with you to class. They will be graded on completion. There are no exceptions for lateness. We will discuss these questions in class, where you will fill out an assessment of your groupmates’ answers.

Peer Review Assignments. You will be graded by your groupmates on how helpful your comments were in revising their homework assignments. Your groupmates (and you) will each submit a review of each other’s peer review work on most Thursdays, along with the revised critical questions.

Revised Critical Questions. After you have participated in course discussion, you will revise your initial answers to critical questions before submitting them once more. You should make your revisions to your original document using a different color font. Using a different color will allow you and me to see how your interpretations of the text have developed based on the discussion. Revised critical questions answers are due on most Thursdays by 10.20am. These revised questions will be assessed according to a grading rubric which will be provided to you.

Twitter vs. Zombies Assignment. We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Final Wikipedia Assignment: Instructions to come closer to the date.

Class Schedule

Week 1: Introduction to Feminist Theory
Sept 4: HYBRID. Read and respond to Kate Fridkis, “Why I Don’t Call Myself A Feminist Anymore.”
Due 10.30am September 4 on Canvas: 1 paragraph self-introduction, 2 paragraph discussion of Fridkis
and why she doesn’t call herself a feminist, and 1 paragraph on why you would or would not call
yourself a feminist. Quiz on syllabus needs to be completed by 11pm.

Week 2: Simone de Beauvoir
Sept 9: Simone de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex. Introduction.” pp. 34-42
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 11: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Simone de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex. Introduction.” pp. 34-42
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 3: The Feminine Mystique and Marxism: Gender and Class
Sept 16: Monique Wittig, “One is Not Born a Woman,” pp. 244-251 AND Betty Friedan. “The Crisis in Woman’s Identity.” From The Feminine Mystique. Pp. 123-136 (available on Canvas)
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 18: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Wittig and Friedan.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 4: Twitter vs. Zombies!
Sept 23: Introduction to Twitter. Class meets IN COMPUTER LAB.

Sept 25: Twitter vs. Zombies assignment! (N.B. Assignment will run Sept 25-27)

Week 5: Sex and Gender
Sept 30: Christine Delphy, “Rethinking Sex and Gender” pp. 58-68.
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 2: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Delphy.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 6: Masculinity
Oct 7: R W Connell, “The Social Organization of Masculinity.” pp. 232-243.
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 9: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Connell.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 7: Race and Feminism
Oct 14: hooks, bell. “Feminism: A Movement to End Sexist Oppression.” (available on Canvas)
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 16: Comments and Revisions on hooks.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 8: Introduction to Wikipedia Editing.
Oct 21: Class in Computer Lab.
– We will discuss: (1) Wikipedia, reliability and knowledge creation, (2) Editing basics and Wikipedia markup, (3) talk pages, (4) Our course Wikipedia webpage.
– Goals: We will (1) Sign each person up for a Wikipedia account, (2) Make edits in a sandbox.
– Reading: “Welcome to Wikipedia” handout, “Using talk pages,” “Evaluating Wikipedia article quality,” “Wikimarkup cheatsheet.”
– Class will participate in Oct 22 Wikistorming event using hashtag #femtheorydocc and by making good faith edits

Oct 23: HYBRID. Wikipedia practice.
Due by 11am October 16:
1) Have completed Wikipedia online training for students, 2) Creation of your user page, 3) Signing up as list of students on Course Page, 4) Leave a message for a classmate on their user talk page.
2) 2 page reaction paper to Wikistorming event

Week 9: Wikipedia and Sources
Oct 28: PRECEPTORIAL ADVISING, NO CLASS
Oct 30: HYBRID.
– Reading: Referencing on Wikipedia and Copyright on Wikipedia
– Due 11am Oct 30 on Canvas: 1) 2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source to a Wikipedia article related to class. 2) Submission of 2 page essay analyzing the new information that you added to the webpage according to what you have learned on Referencing on Wikipedia and Copyright on Wikipedia
– NOTE: Start working on Pages and Sources bibliographies (Due Nov 20!)

Week 10: Colonial Feminisms and “Third World Women.”
Nov 4: Reading: Mohanty, Under Western Eyes. (Available on Canvas)
Due on Canvas at 8.30am and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Nov 6: HYBRID. Comments and Revisions on Mohanty.
Due at 11am on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions with changes highlighted. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 11: Wikipedia Exploring the Topic Area.
Nov 18: Exploring the topic area.
– In class, we will critically evaluate several existing Wikipedia articles related to the class, and suggest how they can be improved
– Reading: 1) “Advice for Choosing Articles” 2) “How to get help” and 3) Wikipedia articles—will be sent to your later by Prof Koh

Nov 20: HYBRID. Annotated Bibliographies.
DUE by 11am Nov 20: Annotated bibliographies of:
1) Pages. 5 possible pages you want to edit for your main project, with annotations about why you’ve chosen this page and its appropriateness
2) Sources. 5 possible sources you want to use for your edits, with annotations about why you’ve chosen these sources and their appropriateness.

Week 12: Peer Review of Pages and Sources Bibliographies.
Nov 25: HYBRID. Peer Review of Annotated Bibliographies.
Due by 11am Nov 25:
Peer Review of each of your groupmates’s annotated bibliographies, including
1) 1 page report on Pages bibliography, and
2) 1 page report on Sources bibliography.

Nov 27: THANKSGIVING, NO CLASS

Week 13: Draft Edits, Peer Review and Office Consultations
Dec 2: Prof Koh office consultations.
DUE by 11am Dec 2:
1) You should have chosen your article that you will be working on. Add your article to the class’s course page and the
article to your own user page.
2) DRAFT EDIT 1 due. Write a draft of your proposed additions/improvements to your page (should be at least 3-4 paragraphs), along with citations. Post this to the article’s talk page, along with a brief description of your plans.

Dec 4: HYBRID. Peer Review of Draft Edit.
DUE by 11am Dec 4: PEER REVIEW OF DRAFT.
2 page evaluation of each of your groupmates drafts according to provided rubric.

Week 14: Last Day of Class, and Reflections
Dec 9: LAST DAY OF CLASS
DUE by 11am Dec 9:
1) Post your final revised edits to your article page
2) Submit on Canvas a 5 page paper on your experiences with Wikipedia editing and Feminist Theory.