New Fall Course: PS 410 Gender and Body Politics
Author: Political Science
Posted: August 16, 2016

This fall quarter, a new feminist theory course will be offered in the Political Science department: PS 410, Feminist Political Thought, topic: Contemporary Gender and Body Politics.

This course will be taught by Rachel Sanders, assistant professor of Political Science, and will meet Wednesday evenings, 530-745pm. The CRN is 13341. Please consider enrolling!

Rather than attempting to survey the canon of feminist political theory, this course will dive into issues that fall under the heading of contemporary gender and body politics. Our goal will be to apply critical scholarship on gender, sexuality, race, and class to recent issues and events in U.S. political and popular culture.

Among the topics we will explore are theories of gender as a performative ‘masquerade’; the relationship between patriarchy and biopower; the role of fashion, beauty, fitness, and public health discourses in mobilizing ‘body panic’ among women and enchanting them with ‘body projects’ and heteronormative institutions, rituals and roles; critiques of ‘post-feminist’ discourses and their relationship to neoliberal and post-racial discourses; Black Lives Matter and #sayhername as feminist and queer movements as well as racial justice movements; and the emergence of a softer, chivalrous, protectionist brand of patriarchy in 2016 presidential, immigration, and bathroom politics. 

This seminar-style class will be reading-, writing-, and discussion-intensive, but the rewards will be worth the work. Final grades will be based on class participation, student presentations, and writing assignments. 

A longer course description will soon be available at, and a full syllabus will be available in mid- to late September.

Email Prof. Sanders at with any questions about this course.