Law, Literature and Feminism

This course will examine the development of feminist legal theory by focusing on several cases, writings of theorists, and novels that provide further illustration of the theories. The early advocates of women's rights argued in court cases for equality; this theme is also developed in Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. The Supreme Court case focusing on maternity leave raised the question whether women should be arguing for equality or difference; Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye asks a similar question. Catharine MacKinnon and Carol Gilligan gave the debate a slightly different turn, with MacKinnon focusing on the need to rectify an existing power imbalance and Gilligan emphasizing an appreciation of difference. Both these approaches intersect in Gloria Naylor's The Women of Brewster Place and Cristina Garcia's Dreaming in Cuban. The course will require attendance, participation, four ungraded writing assignments (1–2 pages), and a take-home final exam. 
(added 5/03)

Course Information
Course #: LAW 250
Program: JD
Course Type: JD Elective
Credit Hours: Two credit hours.