September 19, 2014, BY Heather Johns

Welcome to "Cool Classes," a regular feature that highlights the interesting, intriguing and unexpected in Bucknell University's course catalog.

What class? Feminist Philosophy
Who teaches it? Professor Sheila Lintottphilosophy, chair of Women's & Gender Studies

"In Feminist Philosophy, students confront their preconceptions about the feminist movement and feminists in general by studying the history of feminism in the United States — as well as philosophical topics they may already hold feminist views on, such as reproductive freedom, pornography, sex work, gender stereotypes and monogamy. It's really exciting for students to see the variety of feminisms and to realize that feminists often disagree with one another.

"Along with the plurality of philosophical topics and feminist perspectives we consider, the students are also given the opportunity to finish the course off by writing, performing and analyzing a slam poem. The work that students have created for this assignment has been inspired, passionate and deeply engaged with the complexities of feminism today. 

"Students respond overwhelmingly positively to this class. We discuss very serious and heavy topics, yet, of all my classes, it is the class I find the most fun to teach. This says a lot because I also teach Philosophy of Laughter and Philosophy of Friendship.

"Many say that the class changed their lives — that they will never be able to see the world as they did before studying feminist perspectives on everyday issues.

"It can surprise students that there is no one thing that is feminism, or one way to be a feminist. Oh — and that most feminists, like me, have an awesome sense of humor.

"My favorite comment on a student evaluation so far is: 'I used to think I hated feminists. Now I think I am one. Hope my parents don't mind.'"

See what else is being offered by the Department of Philosophy.

Are we missing out on a cool class? Send suggestions to heather.johns@bucknell.edu.

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