Andrew Colton

Notes for Final Exam

Elements of Utopian society:

-equality (gender, status, socio-economic, age, religion, etc)

-conflict-free (sharing of resources)

-Freedom + individuality




More’s Utopia:

-Island, have military, inhabitants and soldiers work together, no expansion, slavery for criminals, grow excess food, no trade just take what is needed, no private property, death for council members meeting in private, voluntary death for terminally ill, can’t marry early, no divorce or polygamy.

-Heterosexual hierarchy, there is an outside built in (they have an enemy), can change professions (radical!), gender is completely binary, slaves are criminals, no premarital sex, possibility of divorce (radical!)

-Critique: private property (feudalism), legitimizes slavery, current geography



-Abigail Adams, Mary Wollstonecraft, Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton

-Seneca Falls Convention- “Declaration of Sentiments”

-1870- 15th Amendment- men of color can vote

-1920- 19th Amendment- women can vote


-“1950’s housewife”

-Simone de Beauvoir- “The Second Sex” 1948- “one is not born a woman”

-Woman is cultural construct that designates the “servant of man”

-Emerging stereotypes (1960-1980)

-Betty Friedan (The Feminine Mystique), Gloria Steinem (Ms. Magazine)

-Combahee River Collective (Audre Lorde, Beverly Smith, Barbara Smith)

-Intersectionality of race, class, and gender

-Chicana Feminisms

Gloria Anzaldua


-Response to 2nd wave’s shortcomings

-Complicates issues of sexuality, gender identity/performance, race, culture

-Naomi Wolf

Feminist Ethics:

-Kant’s categorical imperative vs. Mill’s utilitarian

-Ethics of care: Carol Gillican “In a Different Voice”

-Liberal Feminist Theory: same political liberty across genders

-Marxist Feminist Theory: same economic liberty

-Radical Feminist Theory: sex, reproduction, etc. both empowering and oppressing women

-Socialist Feminist Theory: joins Marxist and radical theories

Wolf’s Utopian Education:

-No government, new system of education, women in power, no violence, no male protectorship, new methods

-Critique: lack of power/agency (she thinks women in lower class have more power than upper class women), women in the workforce, current education system

Gender is social construct


-Children raised communally

-Motherhood as the only meaning of life

-Eugenics- certain women couldn’t have children

-Jeff places women as weak, as the victim, but doesn’t take advantage of that

Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble”:

-Does “women” exist? Need a commonality

-What is woman? Easier to say what isn’t woman

-It is self-defeating to ask government/institution to uplift us

-“We” is alienating as a term, instead there is an “I”

-“We are all in this together” – nope, there is no we

-We can choose to see this gender code (think The Matrix)

-Neo can either blend in or break the code

-Be playful/manipulative of the rules

Lisa Duggen’s “Queery Theory”:

-Queer: pluralistic term for anything that is not the norm, not just about who you have sex with

-Performance Theory: through performance you create identity

Angels in America:

-Roy (lawyer), Joe (paralegal), Harper (Joe’s pill-popping wife), Louis (Jew), Prior (is the prophet), Belize

-What does this play perform?

-Homosexual perspectives, conflict, doubt, guilt, abandonment, humanity, loss, messiness, illness/mortality, religion, faith, Mormonism, Judaism, magical, divinity, theatricality, race, imagination

-Perestroyka: rapid rising of individuality prior to fall of USSR

-Joe doesn’t have Perestroyka- he remains unchanged/lost

Science Fictions about Men/Women:

-Men enjoy sex more, women are more nurturing, men are better drivers, etc.

Octavia Butler:


-gender duties, male pregnancy/birth, consent, coming of age, symbiotic, family structure, Gan + Xua sibling relations, childbearing, slavery, agency

“The Evening, The Morning and the Night”

-Alan (male with DGD), Beatrice (old woman running mental hospital with DGD), Lynn (girlfriend of Alan with DGD, has two DGD parents so she can “control” DGD’s)

-Discrimination, reproductive rights, healthcare system, free will

“Speech Sounds”

-Rye (woman who can talk), Obsidian (man who can read)

-Communication, power, education, trust, violence

Black Feminist Thought and Afrofuturism

-Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Barbara and Beverly Smith, Gloria Watkins (bell hooks), Jacqui Alexander

-Womanism vs. Feminism

Patricia Hill Collins:

-Oppression all over for black women

-Workplace, shoplifting, lack or access to education/housing/healthcare

-Writing to address all readers

-“Black Feminist thought aims to empower African-American women within the context of social justice sustained by intersecting oppressions”

“U.S. black women as a group live in a different world from that of people who are not black and female”

-There is no “authentic” black feminist/woman experience- all are unique

-Coalitions- be careful, balance with autonomy


-“A fantasy, Afro-centric aesthetic movement that includes literature, visual arts, and music that critiques historical and modern day oppression for people of color”

-Janelle Monae

-“Many Moons” – intersectionalty

Handmaid’s Tale

Women: Wives, Marthas, Handmaids, Aunts, Unwomen, Whotes

Preparation: blue/pink, health class, toys, clothing

Prescription: cosmo, Hollywood

Reinscription: hegemony, so close to the actual thing you think you see something (James Bond is quintessential reinscription

Revision, rewrite, or reinscription?

The Hunger Games

-Gendered death

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