Feminist Inquiry

SPRING: Wednesdays, 5:30 – 8:30 PM
February 1, 2012 – May 9, 2012
Building 56 Room 154

This course investigates theories and practices of feminist inquiry across a range of disciplines. Doing feminist research involves rethinking disciplinary assumptions and methodologies, developing new understandings of what counts as knowledge, seeking new ways to frame scholarly questions, and reconsidering the relationship between subjects and objects of study. Feminist inquiry is simultaneously challenging and creative, as disciplines are revised by the analysis of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation, both embedded within and shaping particular historical, national, and cultural contexts.

This course will proceed, after a brief framing of the issues, as a series of pairings of humanist and social science “case studies” of feminist scholars and their work. Our aim is to allow seminar participants to think deeply about specific theoretical and methodological choices as these are evidenced in practice. We will also reflect on the ways that feminist inquiry/ies transform knowledge and inform varied forms of activism.


Linda M. Blum is Associate Professor of Sociology at Northeastern University. She is the author of Between Feminism and Labor: The Significance of the Comparable Worth Movement and At the Breast: Ideologies of Breastfeeding and Motherhood in the Contemporary United States as well as articles most recently in Gender & Society and Signs.

Kim Surkan has taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at MIT since 2005. Dr. Surkan does interdisciplinary work in queer, feminist, and new media studies with a humanities focus, and has an article on Stieg Larssen’s Millennium trilogy forthcoming in 2011 as part of the Blackwell Literature and Philosophy series.

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Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085