So, next semester I'm teaching a 3000-level course called Gender/Race/Class/Sexuality. It's basically an intersectionalities course. Now, as any good feminist professor should, I teach all my courses from an intersectional perspective. This class could very easily end up seeming redundant since it could potentially share a lot of the same information we discuss in Multicultural Women in the US, or Introduction to Women's Studies. Since it is 3000-level (with either of the aforementioned classes as prereqs), I do have a bit more freedom to use readings that are more theoretically sophisticated (I'm thinking of Patricia Hill Collins' Black Feminist Thought as a possible core text?), and I am going to start from a different place regarding my assumptions about where students will be when they come into class (i.e., I'm not going to hold their hands and say, "This is White privilege," etc.). However, I still want to do something to distinguish it from my lower-division courses, and I wanted to run my ideas by you all while I'm in the brainstorming phase.
Today I just finished listening to a Fucking While Feminist podcast (hosted by Jaclyn Friedman of Yes Means Yes!, What You Really Really Want, and other awesome books) and the topic was a book that I've been wanting to read since I heard about it, The Feminist Porn Book. It made me think, hmmm, I want to teach a class on porn! (Maybe I can become as infamous as the-"male-feminist"-who-shall-not-be-named?!) And then I thought, wait, why not a class on sex work as a whole? And then I thought, well, I'd really want to talk about rape culture, too, so why not something like "Contemporary US Sexual Culture"? And I was all excited about this idea when I realized, well, this could actually be a good topic for my Gender/Race/Class/Sexuality class. It would allow us to focus on something specific, since the general topic of intersectionality could go SO many places. And there is LOTS of writing on US sex culture that is both rigorously theoretical and intersectional in nature. I'm thinking this could really work well!
I still have to run it by my boss, since it would probably mean showing pornographic or near-pornographic material in class and I want to be sure my department will have my back if I do that. But here's what I'm hoping you all can do for me: help me brainstorm a possible list of topics and/or resources to use if I go this direction? I already have some ideas and I will list them below, but I know there's a lot of things I might overlook, and I'd love to hear your ideas. Note that I am not unwilling to use online sources, particularly feminist blog posts, etc., as class readings. In fact, I already used NinjaCate's "Solidarity is for Miley Cyrus" this semester, and it's one of the articles I'd consider using again. So if you have suggestions like that, please feel free to include them! Of course my desire is to have really strong intersectional writings for all of these things—and not just intersections around gender/race/class/sexuality. I'd also be interested in such things as body differences (ability/disability, fatness, etc.), religious diversity, age, family structure, etc. I'd like to explicitly include some writings that deal with disability, trans* issues, and masculinity.
(Note: I thought about including links to all these resources but to do so would take more time than I'd like to spend, so if there's anything you see listed that you'd like a link to, let me know. Also, I haven't read some of these, so if you see anything listed that you don't think is very strong with respect to intersectionality, let me know!)
Topic: Intersectionality (a theoretical introduction to begin the semester)
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks
- Whipping Girl by Julia Serano
Topic: Rape Culture/Raunch Culture (would include rape/sexual violence itself as a topic, as well as things like Miley at the VMAs, etc.)
- Yes Means Yes! by Jaclyn Friedman
- Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy
- NinjaCate's Miley Cyrus article
- Dreamworlds 3 (documentary)
- No! The Rape Documentary
- The Feminist Porn Book
- The Price of Pleasure (documentary)
- Pornland by Gail Dines
- Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity by Robert Jensen
Topic: Sex Work (which of course overlaps with pornography but I'm separating it out here just to list the resources separately)
- Whores and Other Feminists by Jill Nagle
- Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography by Christine Stark
- Sex Work: Writings By Women in the Sex Industry by Frederique Delacoste
- Sex Work Matters by Melissa Hope Ditmore
- Unequal Desires: Race and Erotic Capital in the Stripping Industry by Siobhan Brooks
- Live Nude Girls Unite (documentary)
Topic: Purity Culture
- The Purity Myth - Jessica Valenti
Obviously this is way more than I can fit in to a given semester, but this is how I plan classes: start big and whittle away. So let me hear your ideas/suggestions/feedback if you have any!