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The crossroads of identity and social justice

Director: Dr. Erin Speese, English


Fall 2020

The Intersectio learning community offers courses that focus on gender and its intersections with other identities through a lens of social justice. The courses overall will discuss misconceptions about gender, race, sexuality, class, ability, and citizenship status and the way they inform current social, political, institutional, academic, and economic structures.

ENGL 201C Gender and Social Justice (TR 10:50am), Erin Speese (English)

This course will examine the interdisciplinary field of Women's and Gender Studies, paying particular attention to the construction of gender both in the past and in our contemporary moment.  We will examine the ways social justice is intimately tied to discussions of gender, and our focus will be in tracing the historical and cultural narratives that eventually produced the concept of intersectionality. We will be particularly attuned to discussing the ways gender intersects with other identities, like race, class, sexuality, and ability. We will trace the development of Women's Studies by examining texts associated with the three waves of the women's movement as well as work from the 21st century. Ultimately, this course will study multiple viewpoints related to gender as well as its many intersections and ask students to thoughtfully engage these topics with both empathy and open-mindedness. This course will include works by Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Sarah Grimké, Margaret Sanger, Pauli Murray, Simone de Beauvoir, Fannie Lou Hamer, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Roxane Gay, Malala Yousafzai, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and many others.

UCOR 132C Basic Philosophical Questions (TR 9:25am), Lanei Rodemeyer (Philosophy)

Some of the most important-and interesting-"basic philosophical questions" are about gender identity: How do we understand the relations and expressions of biological sex, cultural roles and performances, and how we feel about our own sexuality? How does our gender overlap or intersect with the other ways that we identify ourselves (or are identified by others), such as race, class, ability, etc.? In this course, we will read and discuss a variety of texts that examine these issues. Our analyses will include self-reflection about our own experiences, extending ourselves beyond our "comfort zones" to understand experiences that are not our own, and addressing different theories and philosophies about gender that inform these essential questions.

UCOR 101C Thinking & Writing across the Curriculum (TR 1:40pm), Jillian Moore Bennion (English)

An introduction to the expectations and practices of academic writing using a writing about writing approach; UCOR 101 introduces students to the principles of rhetoric. Students learn how to identify audiences and create arguments that rely on logic, a credible voice, and that take into consideration an audience's values. Through reading nonfiction prose students engage in critical thinking and analysis and write between three and six papers (totaling between 16-25 pages of final-draft writing) with careful attention to the process of invention, drafting, and feedback. Students will also learn how to incorporate other voices into their own writing and how to properly document their use of those outside sources.