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Feminist Theories and Intersectional Analysis, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Feministisk teori och intersektionell analys

This syllabus is valid: 2022-09-19 and until further notice

Course code: 2KC033

Credit points: 15

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Gender Studies: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)

Revised by: Director of Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS), 2022-09-21


This course focuses on classic and contemporary feminist theoretical debates and explores the complex relations between gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity and class. Through critical readings, central feminist theories will be scrutinized to see how they are able to theorize power dimensions such as heteronormativity, racism, (post)colonialism and class.

The course is divided into two modules. The first module, Feminist theory (7,5 ECTS), opens with an introduction to feminist theory and puts questions of power, sexuality, subjectivity and politics in focus. Different intersectional approaches are discussed, and feminist theory is connected to critical theoretical fields such as queer studies and postcolonialism.

In the second module, we will engage with intersectional analysis of power relations (7,5 ECTS). Through different themes such as place/space, class, body and race/ethnicity we will explore ways of doing intersectional analysis. The course takes its departure from central feminist theory texts and uses critical text analyses as a focus and methodology. Active participation by students in working seminars is vital to the successful completion of the course.

Expected learning outcomes

Module 1: Feminist theory encounters other critical theoretical fields (7,5 ECTS)
After the course the student shall
- be able to independently identify, describe and relate critically to central divisions within feminist theory regarding the meanings of class, ethnicity/race and sexuality.

- be able to, orally and in writing, present an independent analysis related to the central questions in the field of feminist theory and intersectional analysis.

Module 2: Intersectional analysis of power relations (7,5 ECTS)
After the course the student shall
- have achieved comprehension of the different theoretical positions presented during the course and understand their consequences in relation to the intersectional analysis, and be able to apply these understandings in empirical analysis.

- be able to contribute qualified analytical comments at seminars and chair a seminar discussion.

Required Knowledge

To be admitted to the course applicants must have completed three semesters of full time studies, equivalent to 90 ECTS, of which at least 15 ECTS must be an independent project or four semesters of full time studies equivalent to 120 ECTS.
Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A/6. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies..

Form of instruction

Teaching is conducted through lectures and seminars. The seminars are compulsory, and students who are unable to participate will be given extra written examination tasks. The time to hand in extra examinations follow the same rules as renewed examination in general, that is within two year after the student registered. Emphasis is placed on students' independent work.

Examination modes

The course will be examined successively through active participation in seminars, and through individual oral, and written examination. The examination of module 1 consists of a written assignment. The examination of module 2 consists of one oral and one written assignment in which the three themes; body, politics, and place/space, are linked to each other. For both modules and the course as a whole, the following grades are given: Fail (U), Pass (G) and Pass with distinction (VG). In order to be awarded Pass for the entire course, it is necessary that all examinations and all compulsory teaching sessions have been passed. In order to achieve Pass with distinction on the whole course, this grade is demanded at both modules. A re-sit examination can be offered at the earliest ten days and at the latest three months after publishing information about the first examination. One more examination will be offered within the next year. A student who has passed the examination is not eligible for a new examination to raise grades. The option of a re-examination based on the original course syllabus will be available for at least two years after a student registered for the course. All in all, a student is given five chances of fulfilling the course examination. A student has the right to change examiner after failing two examinations for a course module, unless there are strong arguments against this. Course diplomas will be issued within 60 days after a passed examination.

Academic credit transfer
This course cannot be credited for other courses in gender studies at Umeå University. A course with the same name (7,5 ECTS), given during Autumn 2006, can be given credits for in this course
corresponding to 7,5 ECTS. For further information we recommend contact with the director of studies.


Valid from: 2022 week 38

Module 1

Module 1

Abu-Lughod Lila
Do Muslim women really need saving? Anthopological reflections on Cultural relativism and its Others.
Ingår i: American Anthroplogist, 104(3) pp. 783-790. 2003. : 2003 :

Ahmed Sara
Whose Counting?
Included in:
Feminist theory [Elektronisk resurs]
Reading instructions: p. 97-103

Benhabib Seyla
"Feminism and Postmodernism" and "Subjectivity, Historiography, and Politics"
Included in:
Feminist contentions
New York : Routledge : 1995 : 176 s. :

Butler Judith
"Contingent Foundations" and "For a careful reading"
Included in:
Feminist contentions
New York : Routledge : 1995 : 176 s. :

”The intersectional turn in feminist theory. A dream of a common language?”
Carbin Maria, Edenheim Sara
European Journal of Women Studies. Vol. 20, nr. 3. :
Reading instructions: pp 233-248

Crenshaw Kimberle´
Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of colour
Stanford: Stanford University School of Law :
Reading instructions: pp. 1241-1299

Critical race theory [Elektronisk resurs] : an introduction
Delgado Richard., Stefancic Jean.
New York : New York University Press : c2001. : xxi, 167 p. :
Reading instructions: pp. 1-14

Hegemonic feminism revisited : on the promises of intersectionality in times of the precarisation of life
De los Reyes Paulina, Mulinari Diana
Included in:
London : Taylor & Francis : 1998- :

Foucault Michel
The subject and power
Ingår i: Critical Inquiry, vol. 8, No 4. s.777-795. 1982 :

Lewis Reina, Mills Sara
Included in:
Feminist postcolonial theory
Edinburgh : Edinburgh Univ. Press : cop. 2003 : xi, 754 s. : pages 1-21 :

Lykke Nina
Feminist studies [Elektronisk resurs] : a guide to intersectional theory, methodology and writing
London : Routledge : 2010 : xvi, 241 p. :
ISBN: 020385277X
Search the University Library catalogue

MacKinnon Catharine A
Included in:
The second wave
New York : Routledge : 1997 : 414 s. :
Reading instructions: pp 158-180

Mohanty Chandra Talpade
Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses
Included in:
Feminist review.
London,c 1979- : 1979- :
Reading instructions: p. 61-88

Norlander Kerstin
Empathetic reading. The art of reading a text in its own terms
Swedish Secreteriat for Gender Research : 2013 :
Gender Studies Education and Pedagogy
Reading instructions: pp 10-13

Postcolonial Feminism/Postcolonialism and Feminism
Included in:
A companion to postcolonial studies [Elektronisk resurs]
Malden, MA : Blackwell Publishers : 2005 : xxiv, 608 p. : pages 53-71 :

Rubin Gayle S.
Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.
Included in:
The Lesbian and gay studies reader
New York : Routledge : 1993 : 666 s. : pages s. 3-44. :

Staunæs Dorthe
Where have all the subjects gone? : bringing together the concepts of intersectionality and subjectification
Included in:
Stockholm : Taylor & Francis : 1993- :

Virgins or whores? Feminist critique of sexuality
Included in:
Oxford : Oxford University Press : 2008 : 151 p. :
Reading instructions: p. 49-74

Vuolajärvi Niina
Governing in the Name of Caring—the Nordic Model of Prostitution and its Punitive Consequences for Migrants Who Sell Sex
Included in:
Sexuality research & social policy : journal of NSRC : SR & SP [Elektronisk resurs]
2004- : 16 : pages 151-165 :

Reference literature module 1

Module 2

Module 2

Acker Joan
Feminists Theorizing Class - Issues and Arguments
Included in:
Introduction - The Feminist Problem with Class
Lanham, Mdb Rowman &Littlefield ,c 2006 : Rowman &Littlefield : 2006 : 219 s. :
Reading instructions: pp 15-44

Ahmed Sara
A phenomenology of whiteness
Umeå centrum för genusstudier (UCGS) : 2007 :
Reading instructions: pp. 149-168

Connell Raewyn
Transsexual women and feminist thought: Toward new understanding and new politics
The University of Chicago Press : 2012 :
Reading instructions: pp.857-881

Critical race theory : an introduction
Delgado Richard, Stefancic Jean.
2nd ed. : New York : New York University Press : c2012. : xxii, 185 p. :
ISBN: 9780814721346
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: p 1-14

Frankenberg Ruth
White women, race matters : the social construction of whiteness
Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press : cop. 1993 : 289 s. :
ISBN: 0-8166-2257-4
Search the University Library catalogue
Reading instructions: pp. 1-7 and 71-101

Trans: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability [Elektronisk resurs]
Jack Halberstam , Duggan
1 : University of California Press : 2018 :
Reading instructions: pp. 107-128

Koyama Emi
Whose feminism is it anyway? : The unspoken racism of the trans inclusion debate
Included in:
The transgender studies reader
London : Routledge : 2006 : 752 p. : pages pp.698-705 :
Reading instructions: pp.698-705

Raymond J.G
The Politics of Transgender
Sage Publications : 1994 :
Reading instructions: pp.628-633

Skeggs Beverly
"Introduction and Ambivalent Femininities"
Included in:
Formations of class and gender
London : Sage : 1997 : 192 s. :

Sohl Lena
Feel-bad moments: : Unpacking the complexity of class, gender and whiteness when studying ‘up’
Included in:
The European journal of women's studies [Elektronisk resurs]
London : Sage : 1999- :
Reading instructions: pp. 470-483

Spade Dean
Mutilating Gender
Included in:
The transgender studies reader
London : Routledge : 2006 : 752 p. : pages 315-332 :
Reading instructions: pp. 315-332

Reference literature module 2