Prof. Maryanne Horowitz
Women's Studies/Gender Studies 237 (Spring 2007)     Available as History course

Mon. Johnson 204 2:30-5:25 p.m.

    Up-to-date Syllabus on-line at

CONTEMPORARY FEMINIST THOUGHT   (Eligible for credit in CORE 6 Intercultural Topics; Meets Feminist Theory course for WSGS; Eligible for elective credit in History Department) This course will study the multiple movements of contemporary feminism.  Through experiencing a diversity of feminist films, as well as texts on feminist issues, students will evaluate how the feminist movement is transforming gender roles and expectations here and abroad.


Prof. Maryanne Horowitz
Class Meets: Mon. 2:30-5:25 p.m.     Location: Johnson 204
Office: Swan 316  323-259-2583   Hours:  Wed. 2:30-4:24 p.m., Fri. 12:30-1:25 p.m, and by appointment
Horowitz Homepage
Campus mail to Horowitz mailbox, 
Hist. Dept., S. Swan 


Books in Bookstore:  

Peggy Atrobus, The Global Women's Movement: Origins, Issues, and Strategies (NY, NY: Palgrave, 2004; published simultaneously globally).

Nancy Levit & Robert R. M. Verchick, Feminist Legal Theory: A Primer (New York University Press, 2006) 

Jennifer Saul, Feminism: Issues & Arguments (Oxford University Press  2006)  (called Feminism below)

Purchase l of the following for a group debate and individual paper.

Robert M. Baird & Stuart E. Rosenbaum, ed., Same-Sex Marriage: The Moral and Legal Debate   (Amherst N.Y: Prometheus Books, 2004)  OR

Robert M. Baird & Stuart E. Rosenbuam, ed., The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-life vs. Pro-choice, 3rd. edition (Amherst N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 2001)


Other required chapters at electronic reserves. See list of readings at the reserve  desk of the library.  Use Reference books. New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (CB9 N49 2005 6 vols  at lst Floor Old Bldg. Oversize) and on-line is abbreviated below as NDHI. See Ref. section HQ1111-HQ1904, especially Women's Issues HQ1115W6425   1997  3 vols. and Encyclopedia of Feminist Theories HQ1190 E63 2000.  

 Recommended for purchase:

Read Richard D. Mohr, The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality and Rights   142 pages  (Available at Occidental College Library as electronic book, one student checks out at a time).

Yvonne Haddad and John L. Esposito, Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Gainsville, Florida: Univ. Press of Florida, 2001)    

Students will discuss and debate issues and respond to students' papers

20% each:  1)  Exam 1;  2)  Exam 2 3) Class Attendance and Oral Participation   4)Short writing assignments due on some Fridays and Wed. May 3 accumulation of journal entries 5) 6-8 page doublespace paper on either Abortion or Same-Sex Marriage Issue. No Final Exam.

Students are expected not to miss more than 1 3-hour class. For any class missed (whether medical note or not), you should pass in by the Friday following the missed class your detailed reading notes of readings discussed that day, and your xerox of another student's class notes. The purpose is to keep up with the class and not fall behind.

One Guest speaker to be  arranged.

Written assignments are to be passed in to Professor at office hour 12:30-1:25 p.m. Fridays or in Horowitz mailbox by 1:25 Friday. When 2 copies are specified, Prof. Horowitz may want to share 2nd copy with other students in the class (as on class reserve).  Library Resource from Marla Peppers for Class.

In 6-8 page paper, cite specific authors in the controversy book. Either argue a position on an aspect of the issue (considering counter-arguments) or analyze and evaluate multiple positions on the controversy. Use M.L.A. Style of parenthetical notes with your text  mentioning the particular author or document cited. You should include citations to specific students' presentations or interpretation in class (name, date). Include an additional page Works Cited with class books used and any other articles or books you've used.   ttp://

 If you have specific physical or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.  You will need to provide documentation of your disability to Linda Whitney, Coordinator of Academic Support Services, Center for Academic Excellence.

Extra Credit to Class Participation for attending feminist happenings on campus or in Los Angeles especially during Women's Herstory Month. 1) announce event ahead in class or class email 2) afterwards pass in a page analysis of the event within a week after event.

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Spring 2007

1)      M. Jan. 22    Multi-cultural issues of sexism and feminism.

Review of Syllabus.  Gendering in Multi-cultural L.A.

What’s Cookin? 109 minutes. Discussion of feminist issues in film and of ethnic variations in gendering today.

At office hours 12:30-1:25 Fri or in Horowiz, mail box in South Swan,  pass in 1 copy of your personal comments on What's Cookin? You might want to consider examples of the impact of ethnicity and country of origin on the social construction of gender and on gender relationships. 1 typed page is sufficient.

Students are to check out Mohr, The Long Arc of Justice, for 1-day on-line reading. Everyone is to try to read by Mon. Feb. 5 at least "Introduction: A Taboo's End," ch. 1 "Lesbian and Gay Basics: Some Questions, Facts, and Values" and "Conclusion: America's Promise and the Lesbian and Gay Future."

2)       M. Jan. 28   Debating Current Feminist Issues. Bring Feminism

Read carefully and write marginal comments on your book Feminism: Issues & Arguments,  Intro. and ch. 3 Pornography, ch. 8 Feminism, Science and Bias, ch. 9 Feminism and "Respect for Cultures""

Introducing  Mohr, The Long Arc of Justice

Bring Feminism: Issues & Arguments,  Be prepared particularly to take a stand on the issue of pornography. Ch. 8 discussed, ch. 9 to be discussed Feb. 12.

Fri. Feb. 2 by 1:25, pass in 2 copies of your summary and analysis of one of following recommended articles in New Dictionary of the History of Ideas (on-line through OASYS, hardcopy volumes at CB9 N49 2005 6 vols  at lst Floor Old Bldg. Oversize  Be sure to cite author and give page numbers in NDHI   (Student summary and analysis on 2 hour reserve in one folder at Reserves)

 Signups in class Jan. 22 and Jan. 28. "Machismo," "Mestizaje,"  "Identity, Multiple, Overview," "Identity Multiple: Asian-American,"  Identity Multiple: Jewish," "Women's Studies," "Feminism: Overview," "Feminisms: Africa and African Diaspora," "Feminism: Chicana Feminisms," "Feminism: Islamic Feminism," "Feminism: Third World U.S. Movement" "Womanism," "Anti-Feminism" "Family Planning," "Sexual Harassment"  "Human Rights/Women's Rights" "Philosophies Feminist, Twentieth Century," "Equality: Gender Equality,"  "Sexuality: Overview," "Sexuality: Islamic Views," "Sexuality: Sexual Orientation,  "Gender: Overview," "Gender: Gender in the Middle East," "Gender Studies," "Gender, History of,"  "Gay Studies,""Queer Theory," "Women and Femininity in U.S. Popular Culture," and "Men and Masculinity."   Only a few of the articles appear again below; those few are required that week.

3)       M. Feb. 5 Changes in Law. Bring Feminist Legal Theory

Discuss Mohr 1 hour. Intro/Conc  6 chapters---2 students particularly responsible for each chapter.

Discuss Feminist Legal Theory, Intro. and Ch. 2 Feminist Legal Theories.

Introducing later chapters of Feminist Legal Theory

Feb. 9 1:25 p.m., 2 copies to Horowitz  mailbox. Pass in your summary and the controversial questions students might discuss concerning your assigned chapter in Antrobus,The Global Women's Movement. (Assignment in Feb. 2 class email; 2nd copy will be on reserve for students to read over weekend.)

4) M. Feb. 12  Global Women's Movement  Bring Antrobus

Come to class having read all of Antrobus, The Global Women's Movement, for discussion.  Those responsible for each chapter to raise the questions to class. Students are to consider Antrobus in relationship to ch. 9 of Feminism, assigned for Jan. 28.  Read also Feminist Legal Theory, ch. 3 Feminist Legal Methods, and in NDHI, "Human Rights/Women's Rights"

Film. Whale Rider  101 minutes. This ethnographical study of  Maori customs from a feminist girl's point of view raises some universal issues of male-female relations as well as some issues specific to the Maori of New Zealand. With which issues do you identity? Which issues seem distinctive and local?

5)  M. Feb. 19 Holiday.

All read Feminism: Issues & Arguments, ch. 4 Abortion. Read Feminist Legal Theory,  ch. 6 Gender and the Body and ch. 7 Marriage and Family

Group Meetings scheduled ahead outside class this week when Monday is holiday to plan class presentations/debates on Abortion and on Same-Sex Marriage. Groups start discussing the readings. Feb. 26 group plans to be passed in. First presentations are Feb. 26 and March 2.

6) M. Feb. 26 First Presentations on Abortion  Bring a book edited by Baird and Rosenbaum, as well as Feminism and Feminist Legal Theory.

Extra credit available for reports on events during "Queen's Week: Celebration Black Women," Feb. 26-March 3, OXY or Feb. 27 Williams Institute Conference at UCLA Law School

Read Feminism: Issues & Arguments, ch. 1 The Politics of Work and Family, ch. 2 Sexual Harassment; Feminist Legal Theory, ch. 5 Education and Sports  

Each group is to pass in group written statement of group plans for division of labor and for main issues chosen for class presentations. 

Topics for review and study for 2 hours of exams ( 1 hour Mon March 5, 1 hour Mon. March 19)

a) Abortion group is to do a 30-minute presentation  1 or 2 of the 5 parts of The Ethics of Abortion

 15- minute Discussion of Readings assigned for Feb. 19.

b) North Country    123 minutes. (2 hours)North Country was based on the book "Class action: the story of Lois Jensen and the landmark case that changed sexual harassment law" by Clara Bingham and Laura Leedy.  

Fri. March 2  Pass in a 2 -page position paper on an aspect of the politics of work and family or of workplace discrimination (Feminism: Issues & Arguments, Feb. 26 assignment and Feminist Legal Theory, March 5 assignment)

7) M. March 5  

1-Hour Essay Exam.

 Court Cases on sex discrimination in work

Read Feminist Legal Theory, ch. 3 Feminist Legal Methods, ch. 4 Workplace Discrimination, Wages, and Welfare. 

a) Same-Sex Marriage group is to do a 30-minute presentation  based l of 3 parts of Same-Sex Marriage or

b) Bring Feminism and Feminist Legal Theory. Long Discussion of readings assigned for Feb. 26 and March 2.

W. March 7 Oxy’s Mid-Term

Spring Break March 12-16

8) M. March 19  1-Hour Essay Exam

Guest Speaker for class and for campus

Mon March 19
WSGS Colloquium followed by Pre-Law Reception:Oxy alumna Peggy Roman-Jacobson, Litigation Associate "Litigating Employment Discrimination Cases Based on Sex or Sexual Orientation (California Fair Employment & Housing Act)"
3:30-5:00 p.m.   Morrison Lounge
5:00-6:00 Morrison Lounge Pre-Law Reception with informal conversations.

Traditional Religions & Current Feminist Issues

9)  M. March 26  Group Presentation of Issues on Abortion.  Traditional Religions (Bring printout of electronic reserve reading)

Recommended: Stetson, ed. Abortion Politics...:A Comparative Study (Reserve);

Read on electronic reserve selections from Haddad and Esposito, eds., Daughters of Abraham: Feminist Thought in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Berner "From Hearing Hannah's Voice"  

Ruether, "Christian Feminist Theology: History and Future" 

Lafeey, "The Influence of Feminism on Christianity" 

W. March 28  Last Day for Dropping Classes.

 10) M. April 2 Group Presentation of Issues on Same-Sex Marriage.   Traditional Religions (Bring printout of electronic reserve reading)

Continue reading in Daughters of Abraham: Abugideiri, "Hagar" 

In NDHI, read   

Fedwa Malti-Douglas, "Sexuality: Islamic Views" 

Miriam Cook, "Feminism: Islamic Feminism," 

and D. A. Spellberg, "Gender: Gender in the Middle East,"               Compare the 3 viewpoints on Islam and Feminism.

4:30 START, do "1961" with Vanessa Redgrave, and possibly see "1972" or save until next week.   If these walls could talk 2     2000    (97 minutes.) 

Recommended on reserve  for same-sex legislation outside U.S.A.: Yuval Merin, Equality for Same-Sex Couples: The Legal Recognition of Gay Partnerships in Europe and the United States (U. Chicago 2002)

Wed. April 4 or Fri April 6 by 1:25, Pass in 2 copies of 1-2 pages critically analyzing Saul's viewpoint in chapter 5, 6, or 7 (signups ahead)

11) M. April 9 Changing Social Contexts of Lesbian Relationships

Read Feminism: Issues & Arguments, ch. 7  Women's Different Voice. Read rapidly ch. 5 Feminine Appearance and ch. 6 Feminism and Language Change. Review entire book.

M. April 9  See  Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Stone in "2000" If these walls could talk 2     2000    (97 minutes.) 

Discussion of changes in lesbian relationships as illustrated by the 3 examples in the film.  Islamic Feminism Discussion.  Library Resource from Marla Peppers for Class.

Fri. April 13, 1:30 p.m., 6-8 page paper due on an aspect of controversy on same-sex marriage or on abortion.

12) Feminist Legal Theory   Bring Feminist Legal Theory

M. April 16  Senior Comps Due

Feminist Legal Theory, ch.  8 Sex and Violence, ch. 9  Feminist Legal Theory and Globalization. Review entire book.

Be prepared to discuss questions on p. 202 and 227.

F. April 20,

13) M. April 23   2 hour essay exam. (Emphasis on readings and class work since last hour exam, but full mastery of Feminism: Issues and Arguments and Feminist Legal Theory expected.)

Papers returned.

14)  M. April 30  Cross-dressing, mistaken identities, and issues of masculinity and femininity in popular portrayals

NDHI: Susan Grayson, "Women and Femininity in U.S. Popular Culture,"


Sports, Cross-Dressing, Updating Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night influence popular film

She’s the Man 105 minutes.  Discussion of She's the Man in relationship If these walls could talk 2.

May 3 Oxy last day for withdrawal from class.

Wed. May 3, 2:30-4:25 office hour.  Pass in 2-3 typed pages of your personal response to thinking about contemporary feminism. This may be an accumulation of journal entries throughout the semester or concluding thoughts.

No Final. Students will receive an email notice of when they may pick up last exam.

EXTRA CREDIT SUGGESTIONS: (Students, please suggest others.)


Oxy calendar, especailly Herstory Month events in March.