Feminist Theory Workshopclsbann.gif (4946 bytes)

Fall 2009

Tuesdays, 4:20-6:10
Case Lounge, Room 701, Greene Hall

The Feminist Theory Workshop in the Fall of 2009 will focus on issues of gender and sexuality-based justice in transnational and international contexts. Readings and speakers will cover issues of sex trafficking, gender and colonialism, development, and human rights. Key questions will include: to what degree do efforts to combat gender-based discrimination on the international or global scale risk repeating a kind of colonial exercise; how have campaigns to combat sex trafficking become tied up with the politics of prostitution/sex work; how can global efforts to expand women's rights avoid positioning cultures as more or less primitive, more or less liberal; and how do gender and sex rights claims get used as proxies for other global struggles?

The Workshop will be comprised of outside speakers for half of the sessions, and selected readings related to the work of the outside speakers in the intervening sessions. Students will be expected to write three short reflection papers and one 15 page paper on a topic of their choosing, approved by the Professor. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their class participation, short papers and their final paper.

No laptops will be allowed in the Workshop.

  • September 8th: Introduction to the Workshop
  • Reading: Nicholas B. Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn, The Woman's Crusade, New York Times Magazine August 23, 2009

  • September 15th : Speaker: Janet Halley, Harvard Law School, Rape At Rome: Feminist Interventions in the Criminalization of Sex-Related Violence in Positive International Criminal Law
  • September 29th: Speaker: Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School, Ahmadinejad Comes to Columbia: The Perils Of Standing Up For The Gays
  • October 6th: Reading: Laura Agustin, Sex and the Limits of Enlightenment: The Irrationality of Legal Regimes to Control Prostitution, 5 Sexuality Research & Social Policy 73 (2008); The Girls Next Door, NYT Magazine; Pappu, Off The Record, NY Observer
  • October 13th: Reading: Katherine Franke, Sexual Tensions of Post-Empire, 33 Studies in Law, Politics and Society 63 (2004); Mark Mathuray, On the (African) National Question: Sexuality and Tradition
  • October 20th: Speaker: Unity Dow, Justice of the High Court of Botswana, Against the Order of Nature - Homosexual Conduct in Botswana Attorney General v Unity Dow, (Botswana) 1992 BLR 60; The Violations of the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Persons in BOTSWANA A Shadow Report; Ujitwa Kanane v Republic, (Botswana)1995 BLR 94
  • October 27th: Reading: Raha Bahreini, From Perversion to Pathology: Discourses and Practices of Gender Policing in the Islamic Republic of Iran, 5 Muslim World Journal of Human Rights 1 (2008)
  • November 3rd: Reading: James Q. Hathaway, The Human Rights Quagmire of "Human Trafficking", 49 Va. J. Int'l L. 1 (2008-2009); Noy Thrupkaew, The Crusade Against Sex Trafficking: "Sister, Why Doesn't Anything Change?"

         Note: Class will meet in Room 904

  • November 10th:  Reading: Kerry Rittich, Rights, Risk and Reward
  • November 17th: Speaker: Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto Law School, Modeling Informal Labor Markets; Exit, Exclusion and the Paradoxes of Flexibility
  • November 24th: Speaker: Sealing Cheng, Wellesley College, Sexual Protection, Citizenship, and Nationhood: Prostituted Women and Migrant Wives in South Korea
  • December 1st: Speaker: Afsaneh Najmabadi, Harvard University, History and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Sex-in-Change: Configurations of Sexuality and Gender in Contemporary Iran
  • December 8th: Speaker: Janie Chuang, Washington College of Law, Rescuing Trafficking from Ideological Capture:  Anti-Prostitution Reform and Its Influence on U.S. Anti-Trafficking Law and Policy

    For more information, please contact Alexander Blechman, ablech1@law.columbia.edu, 854-0696