1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of WMST3001, WMST9003, WMST9010 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Knowledge such as can be obtained from a first year undergraduate level Women's Studies topic or other first year undergraduate level topics from the humanities or social sciences area.
Assignment(s), Tutorial participation
Topic description

This topic surveys a number of influential feminist theorists and philosophers and examines their contribution to ideas and practices in gender studies, feminist theory and philosophy. Inspired by feminist challenges to western philosophy this topic engages with perspectives that theorise subjectivity as embodied (gendered, raced and classed) and socially situated. The emphasis is on understanding various theories about gender, subjectivity and power that underpin different points of view on themes such as desire, friendship, disability, violence, colonialism, capitalism and technology. Students will be encouraged to critically engage with current issues from various sources including film, literature, media and personal experience.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Equip students with the knowledge and skills required to understand relationships between gender, body and subjectivity in contemporary feminist thought
  • Offer relatively in-depth exposure to some of the main theoretical approaches informing contemporary feminist thinking about the body and subjectivity
  • Develop students' skills in analysing arguments and their theoretical frameworks
  • Develop students' skills in researching and critically analysing debates in Women's Studies
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of relationships between gender, body and subjectivity in contemporary feminist thought
  2. Identify and employ some of the main theoretical approaches that inform contemporary feminist thinking about the body both within and across disciplinary boundaries
  3. Critically analyse a variety of arguments and theoretical frameworks

  4. Think critically and form independent judgements
  5. Demonstrate improved written and verbal communication skills
  6. Work collaboratively, independently, and ethically

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.