Occidentalism and Gendering Modernity

Occidentalism and Gendering Modernity
Meltem Ahıska
2 credits
Course Syllabus
This course aims to explore the discursive and performative idioms of “modernity” in non-Western contexts.
Informed by the theoretical framework of Occidentalism, the course will dwell on issues such as the dialogical
relationship between the “Western” and “non-Western” conceptions of modernity; the relation between the cultural
representations of modernity and political subjectivity; the spatial, temporal and technological practices of
imagining the “modern nation”; and how these practices are reproduced and legitimised by gendering modernity in
non-western countries.
The course will develop by interrogating the gendered dichotomies of modernity in the light of feminist theory, and
proceed to studies of modernity in different non-Western cases, such as Turkey, Greece, Iran, India, and China, with
special emphasis on the boundary management of these dichotomies.
The course will be structured as a seminar in which student participation is deemed as highly important. The final
course grade will be based on class presentations (10 %), one essay (40%), and one term paper (50 %).
Week 1: General Introduction
Week 2: Gendered Conceptions of the “Modern” Society: A Challenge for Feminist
p. 13-27
Week 3: Gendered Dichotomies: Public/Private
Disorder of Women (Polity Press, 1988) p.33-53; 118-140
Week 4: Gendered Dichotomies: Nature/Culture
ordanova, “Natural facts: a historical perspective on science and sexuality,” in Nature, Culture and Gender,
eds. Carol MacCormack and Marilyn Strathern (Cambridge University Press, 1980) p.42-69
of nature in eighteenth-century French thought,” in
Nature, Culture and Gender, p. 25-41
Week 5: Gendered Dichotomies: High Culture/Popular Culture
Culture and Postmodernism (The Macmillan Press, 1986) p. 44-62
Gender, Agency and Change, ed. Victoria Ana Goddard (Routledge, 2000) p. 250-272
Week 6: Gendered Dichotomies: Traditional/Modern
-presentations of Women in Non-Western Societies,” in
Feminism and ‘Race’, ed. Kum-Kum Bhavnani (Oxford University Press, 2001) p.108-118
ohanty, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses,” in Colonial
Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory, p. 196-220
Week 7: Historicizing the Dichotomy of East and West: Orientalism
5), p.1-28; 329-354
Week 8: Theorizing the non-Western experiences of modernity: Postcolonial
(Princeton University Press, 1993) p. 116-157
Week 9: Theorizing the non-Western experiences of modernity: Alternative
-native Modernities, Public Culture 27 (1999),
p. 1-18
es: Non-Western Modernities,” in Through a Glass Darkly,
ed. Wil Arts (Brill, 2000) p. 41-55
Week 10: Theorizing the non-Western experiences of modernity: Occidentalism
erzfeld, “Hellenism and Occidentalism: The Permutations in Greek Bourgeois Identity,” in
Occidentalism: Images of the West, ed. James Carrier (Clarendon Press, 1995) p. 218-233
itics and Anthropology of South
Asia,” in Occidentalism: Images of the West, ed. James Carrier (Clarendon Press, 1995) p.234-257
Week 11: Occidentalism and Gender
-Mei Chen, “Fathers and Daughters in Early Modern Chinese Drama: On the Problematics of Occidentalism
in Cross-Cultural Gender Perspective,” in Occidentalism: A Theory of Counter-Discourse in Post-Mao China
(Oxford University Press, 1995) p. 137-155
-Targhi, “Imagining European Women,” in Refashioning Iran: Orientalism, Occidentalism
and Historiography (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) p. 54-76
Week 12: Occidentalism and Gender
Lila Abu-Lughod (Princeton University Press, 1998), p. 270-287
(2000), p. 25-60
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