Teaching Introduction To Women's Studies

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This edited collection addresses the institutional context and social issues in which teaching the women's studies introductory course is embedded and provides readers with practical classroom strategies to meet the challenges raised. The collection serves as a resource and preparatory text for all teachers of the course including experienced teachers, less experienced teachers, new faculty, and graduate student teaching assistants. The collection will also be of interest to educational scholars of feminist and progressive pedagogies and all teachers interested in innovative practices.

The contributors discuss the larger political context in which the course has become a central representative of women's studies to a growing, although less feminist-identified, population. Increased enrollments and changes in student population are noted as a result, in part, of the popularity of Introduction to Women's Studies courses in fulfilling GED and diversity requirements. New forms of student resistance in a climate of backlash and changes in course content in response to internal and external challenges are also discussed. Evidence is provided for an emerging paradigm in the conceptualization of the introductory course as a result of challenges to racism, heterosexism, and classism in women's studies voiced by women of color and others in the 1980s and 1990s. Sensationalist charges that women's studies teachers, including those who teach the Introduction to Women's Studies course, are the academic shock troops of a monolithic feminism are challenged and refuted by the collection's contributors who share their struggles to make possible classrooms in which informed dialogue and disagreement are valued.

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Editorial Reviews

With the understanding that it is impossible to design a course to fit everyone, Winkler (women's studies, West Virginia U.) and DiPalma (women's studies, U. of South Florida), have collected a wide variety of essays touching on a number of important subjects for anyone teaching or considering starting a women's studies course. Some of these issues include student perceptions in an introductory women's studies class, the "men problem," students' fears about lesbianism, and racism. The final section of the book provides practical suggestions about how to apply specific strategies in the classroom, such as using the Internet and information technology in women's studies courses, and putting feminism into practice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897895903
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/30/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

BARBARA SCOTT WINKLER is Director of Women's Studies at Southern Oregon University.

CAROLYN DIPALMA is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women's Studies at the University of South Florida where she teaches courses in feminist theory, political theory, women's health, and human sexual behavior.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Knowledge and Resistance
Pt. I Introduction
1 The Introductory Course: A Voice from the Broader Field of Women's Studies 3
Pt. II Overviews/Resources
2 The Ideologue, the Pervert, and the Nurturer, or, Negotiating Student Perceptions in Teaching Introductory Women's Studies Courses 21
3 Conceptualizing the Introduction to Women's Studies Course at the Community College 37
4 Reading Women's Lives: A New Database Resource for Teaching Introduction to Women's Studies 49
Pt. III Theorizing Expectations
5 Border Zones: Identification, Resistance, and Transgressive Teaching in Introductory Women's Studies Courses 61
6 Revisiting the "Men Problem" in Introductory Women's Studies Classes 73
7 "Is This Course Just about Opinions or What?" Scripted Questions as Indicators of Group Development in an Introduction to Women's Studies Class 87
8 Students' Fear of Lesbianism 99
9 "When I Look at You, I Don't See Race" and Other Diverse Tales from the Introduction to Women's Studies Classroom 111
10 Inter-Racial Teaching Teams, Antiracism, and the Politics of White Resistance: Teaching Introduction to Women Studies at a Predominantly White Research Institution 123
11 Feminism in the Field of Local Knowledge: Decolonizing Subjectivities in Hawai'i 137
Pt. IV Applying Strategies
12 Cybergrrrl Education and Virtual Feminism: Using the Internet to Teach Introductory Women's Studies 151
13 Webbed Women: Information Technology in the Introduction to Women's Studies Classroom 163
14 Reading Glamour Magazine: The Production of "Woman" 175
15 "MY FATHER'S WASP": Spelling the Dimensions of Difference 183
16 Encouraging Feminism: Teaching The Handmaid's Tale in the Introductory Women's Studies Classroom 191
17 The Outrageous Act as Gender Busting: An Experiential Challenge to Gender Roles 201
18 Outrageous/Liberating Acts: Putting Feminism into Practice 213
Pt. V Conclusion: Undoing Our Habits
19 When Things Fall Apart 225
References 241
Index 255
About the Contributors 269
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