Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I need some feedback on a feminist ethics course...

So, I'm thinking about a feminist ethics course I'm lucky enough to be able to teach.

It is in a Learning Community -- paired with a course that is both women's studies and international in flavor.

So, I have kind of a double challenge -- above and beyond the usual Ethics course. I need to include basic ethical theory and some applied ethics issues of my choosing to fulfill the course requirements. That part is easy enough for a normal section of this course and the basic ethical theory part is something I can (and probably do), do in my sleep.

I also need to include some basic feminist philosophy/theory, some basic feminist ethics of care -- So if you have some suggestions for articles or freshman level books, I'd love them. I have a copy of "Full Frontal Feminism"- but I haven't read it all yet. I've also found several articles by Virginia Held -- which seem to be on the right level for my students, because she writes very clearly :).

I'd like some suggestions on general applied ethics issues that are relevant to feminism. I'm thinking of discussing some assortment of abortion, sexual morality/sex workers/porn , use of reproductive technology, same-sex marriage and affirmative action... but I'd welcome other issues I haven't considered.

I'm thinking about making the international aspect of this the subject of their presentations/final papers... This will let the paper assignments form a connection between the two courses and allow them to work on something of interest to them... In order to make this work, I know I need a good set of issues -- and thus this is where I need the most help in terms of suggestions...

Also, what do you think about having the students present the international version of the issues... the idea would be that their work at the end of the course would build on the applied ethics issues discussed in class and include analysis using ethical theory... It is also kind of necessary, as the textbooks I have piled in my office are VERY US-centric.... sigh.


Bardiac said...

If you're interested in reproductive technology, how about focusing on India and surrogacy?

I vaguely understand that there are affirmative action type issues in India, too, though that's not the language used. So that could be an issue, too.

Sounds like an interesting collection of classes!

timna said...

great post -- I'll be interested in the feedback.

Bitty said...

I won't pretend to be knowledgeable enough about your field to speak intelligently, but as a layperson I am rather interested in and appalled by the ethical (mis)treatment of female political candidates. Especially a certain presidential candidate and especially at the hands of the mainstream media.

It goes beyond her situation, though: I wonder if HRC's candidacy will enrage women into seeking elected office or scare them away. As far as the international bent, other countries have elected women to higher office. Are they more accepting of women as leaders than we or not? (I hear Angela Merkel took quite a load of crap when she was campaigning.)

I'll shut up now, because I know nothing.