Fall 2013  |  GWSS 8103 Section 001: Feminist Theories of Knowledge (32640)

Class Component:
3 Credits
Grading Basis:
Student Option
Instructor Consent:
No Special Consent Required
Instruction Mode:
In Person Term Based
Meets With:
PHIL 8133 Section 001
Times and Locations:
Regular Academic Session
09/03/2013 - 12/11/2013
Thu 04:00PM - 06:00PM
UMTC, East Bank
Walter W Heller Hall 731
Course Catalog Description:
Interdisciplinary seminar. Feminist approaches to knowledge and to criticism of paradigms of knowledge operative in the disciplines. Feminist use of concepts of subjectivity, objectivity, and intersubjectivity. Feminist empiricism, standpoint theory, and contextualism. Postmodern and postcolonial theorizing.
Class Description:
A unique opportunity, funded by the Imagine Chair, the seminar includes meetings with national & local experts in epistemology, food systems, & community-based participatory research, as well as optional expense-paid conference travel & e-publishing opportunities. Epistemology as currently understood has roots in 17thC European social, political, & economic crafting of the bourgeois individual. Today epistemology has lost touch with those roots & approaches its problems as timeless & universal. We will ask: What epistemological problems arise in the context of today's world? Feminist (& other liberatory) epistemology thus differs from the mainstream less in answers than in questions. One set of questions starts with our pervasive, irremediable dependence on others for most of what we need to know, much of it embedded in institutions (like universities) that create, certify, & monitor expertise. Their trustworthiness has as much to do with social justice as with scientific method. This shift in the nature of epistemology is controversial, & students can enter into the debates through the on-line Social Epistemology Review & Reply Collective. We will explore the idea of ?sustainable epistemology?: modes & norms of inquiry that make it more likely that those who are less privileged & more vulnerable will be able to pursue knowledge of the world. Particular focus will be on relationships between university-based disciplinary expertise & other ways of knowing & communities of knowers. Guests at the seminar are involved in modes of inquiry attentive to such relationships. Students will make connections with their own work, both as they are being socialized as academic researchers & as they relate to various individuals & groups that are among?or that also interact with?their objects of study. A major focus will be on the ethics & politics of inquiry: To whom ought we to be accountable as scholars & researchers? What is involved in being trustworthy, especially when exercising disciplinary expertise? We will address the importance of place, of being at this university, in this place, in relation to diverse communities that surround the U. Texts include Jose Medina, Epistemology of Resistance; Race & Epistemologies of Ignorance, ed. S. Sullivan & N. Tuana; & Miranda Fricker, Epistemic Injustice. Prof. Medina (Vanderbilt Univ.) will visit & meet with our seminar. Students are invited (expenses covered) to the Nibi-Manoomin Bridging World Views Symposium at the Grand Casino, Mille Lacs & to meet with Kyle Powys Whyte (Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Michigan State Univ.). We will meet with Alison Wylie (Univ. of Washington), here for a symposium, ?Resilience & Sustainability: Learning from the Maya & Other Ancient Cultures??, to which students are invited. Other guests will be from the Twin Cities & include people involved in community-based participatory research & other modes of engaging university expertise with other ways of knowing.
Instructor Supplied Information Last Updated:
9 August 2013

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