Our Shared Shelf discussion

note: This topic has been closed to new comments.
Archive > Essential Feminism Curriculum

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments I'm trying to teach myself about feminism -- its history & development, core thinkers (opponents and proponents, men and women), range of thoughts/opinions/research results (for, against, and everything in between). Basically, to create my own self-study course for women's studies & feminism, so that I can fairly rapidly and efficiently familiarize myself with the subjects.

To that end, can anyone suggest a curriculum of like 50-100 works (books, essays, articles, films, docs, research, etc.)?

message 2: by Kori (new)

Kori | 27 comments My recs come from a very basic knowledge of the mainstream feminist movements in the United States and those female activists and scholars who challenged and critiqued it since it was very white, cishet, and middle/upper class focused (a critique still valid today, as I'm sure you know). Here's a few selections:

Women, Race, and Class- Angela Davis
Black Feminist Thought - Patricia Hill Collins
Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center-bell hooks
Gender Trouble-Judith Butler
The Second Sex-Simone de Beauvior
The Feminine Mystique-Betty Frieden
Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women -Mia Bay, editor
Sister Outsider- Audre Lorde
This Bridge Called My Back- Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua
Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza- Gloria Anzaldua
In Search of Our Mother's Gardens-Alice Walker

On the history of the various movements, I would suggest reading about major figures within the movements, such as Sojourner Truth (by Nell Painter), Ida B Wells (by Paula Giddings), Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Margaret Sanger, and I would also suggest the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told Me, which has some very well researched and revealing episodes on feminist history and how specific women's issues have affected women differently due to class and race in America (such as birth control being used to forcibly sterilize women of color).

I apologize I don't have more suggestions from lesbian, bisexual, and transgender feminists and/or Asian and Latinx feminists; will comment again when I find more. Happy reading!

message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Excellent, thank you! You read my mind--I didn't mention it but, yes, I am also interested in LBTQ and foreign feminists / feminist movements and would appreciate your suggestions.

It was a bit overwhelming to decide where to start with a relatively unfamiliar topic, so thank you again.

message 4: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Kimball (gaylekimball) I'd be glad to share pertinent chapters from my book draft on global young women's activism. Here's the TOC. I'll email chapters to you. I'd love your critique and that of any other interested people.
Part 1 Themes
Chapter 1 The Future is Female 43 pages
Meet Young Women Leaders; What Motivates a Youth Activist?; the Future is Female?; Uppity Girls’ Rising Aspirations and Activism; Feminism, the United Nations and Governments Stimulate Equality; Young Men’s Viewpoints

Chapter 2 Global Desire for Equality 41
Equality is Desired Globally, More Females Desire Gender Equality, Girls Want Economic and Social Equality, Claims that Women Leaders are More Peaceful, Feminist Organizing, Inequality Persists in All Countries

Chapter 3 Global Status of Young Women 43
Rural Vs. Urban Sex Roles, Feminization of Poverty, Education, Health, Violence

Chapter 4 Consumerism Targets “Girl Power” 40
Materialistic Consumers of Products and Entertainment?; Teen Identity Through Consumption; Social Unrest from Rising Expectations; How Youth Are Manipulated by Multinational Corporations; Negative Consequences of Consumerism; Youth Views about Getting Rich; Traditional and Modern Beliefs: Moving Towards the Middle

Chapter 5 Global Media Both Helps and Inhibits Girls 42
Global Media is Pervasive, Global Media Provides New Information, Media Exposure Makes Youth Opinionated and Brave, Global Media Sells Consumerism, Media Addiction Creates Dumb Zombies

Part 2 Regions
Chapter 6 Feminist Waves in the West 49
Second Wave Feminists of the 60s, Women’s Studies, Inequality Persists, Generation Gap, Third Wave Response, Rejection of Feminism?, Fourth Wave

Chapter 7 Brave Women in Muslim Countries 61
The Middle East, Women and Islam, Iran, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia

Chapter 8 Egyptian Revolutionaries 36
Traditional Male Dominance; Education; A Pioneering Feminist: Dr. Nawal El Saadawi’s Egyptian Union for Women; Young Women in the Revolution; After the Revolution; Sexual Harassment Persists

Chapter 9 Women in Developing and Emerging Countries 56
Women and Development, Latin American Youth Issues, African Issues and Activists

Chapter 10 Feminism in India, an Emerging Superpower 52
Youth Issues, The Gap Between the Rich and the Poor, Hybrid Youth Culture and Attitudes, Youth Activism in Politics, Traditional Sexism, Feminism

Chapter 11 Socialist Countries--China and Russia 58
Part 1: China: The Setting, Traditional Beliefs, Rural vs. Urban Youth, Youth Issues in an Era of Change from Maoism to Capitalism, Current Chinese Issues
Part 2: Russia: History, Attitudes Towards Feminism, Consumerism and Glamour, Putin’s Nationalism vs. Rebels

message 5: by Chris (last edited Jul 16, 2016 12:30PM) (new)

Chris | 13 comments That'd be interesting. I can send you an email. As I am obviously not an expert in this subject, I could only offer a critique of the form and not the substance of the chapters you send me, if that's OK.

message 6: by Gayle (new)

Gayle Kimball (gaylekimball) It's not written for experts, just for intelligent curious readers like you.

message 7: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Stone (alysonserenastone) | 149 comments I'm more of a fiction person. These are some that I have found to be very enjoyable.
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen The Awakening by Kate Chopin Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Little Women (Little Women, #1) by Louisa May Alcott Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

message 8: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thank you, Serena! I'll be sure to keep these in mind for my classics reading. Right now, though, I'm interested in this as a political/social/economic topic, so I'm interested in facts (well, and theories).

message 9: by Kori (new)

Kori | 27 comments No problem! And here's a few more I found:

Trans/Forming Feminisms: Transfeminist Voices Speak Out - Krista Scott-Dixon, editor
Dragon Ladies: Asian American Feminists Breathe Fire - Sonia Shah, editor

Sandy Stone
Grace Lee Boggs
Assata Shakur
Yuri Kochimaya
Trinh T. Minh-ha
Janet Mock
Sylvia Rivera

message 10: by Eilidh (new)

Eilidh | 15 comments I've only this past year started to try and expand my reading of feminist literature so dont have many to suggest but have you ever tried a MOOC (massive online open course)? They are free online courses provided by various universities around the world. Various topics and quality too but I've done a few in the past. Self paced so no pressure. A quick google led me to this one;


Havent done the course myself but have bookmarked it for future!

Book wise - Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche - We Should All Be Feminist (think this is a transcript of a TED talk so may be able to watch on YouTube)
Kira Cochrane - All The Rebel Women

Hope this helps :)

message 11: by Alia (last edited Jul 18, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

message 12: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thanks, Kori. Dragon Ladies caught my attention.

message 13: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thank you, Kharoll-Ann. I'm looking forward to this one!

message 14: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thank you, Eilidh! Great idea. I don't know why I blanked on that -- I've taken an online course through Stanford before, which was well-worth the time. And TED is amazing.

message 15: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thanks, Alia! Another good one.

message 16: by Ana, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Ana PF | 746 comments Mod
This is definitely very helpful for many of us, myself included! Just wondering whether this doesn't fall within the 'please just add these books to The List' category. Hmmm, but it's ok for me, since what you're looking for is, as you very eloquently put it, a 101 curriculum of sorts.

message 17: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Hi Ana -- I'm glad it's helpful. I was a little overwhelmed by all the categories and wasn't sure where to post this. By all means re-post or relocate where you think it will reach the greatest number of readers.

message 18: by Tim (new)

Tim Alright people, 18 posts in and I have seen 0 mentions of Emma Goldman, something is wrong here. How long have I been absent?

Anyway, Emma Goldman was one of the early people who found that the liberation of women (and homosexuals and basically what would now be known as LGBT people) should come hand in hand with the liberation of workers from capitalism and state power, and so she is now known as the founder of anarcha-feminism. As such, definitely deserving of a mention here and Stuff Mom Never Told You made a video about her recently on their Youtube page. I hope she sounds interesting enough for you to look up some of her books for yourselves.

(Also, hi everyone)

message 19: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments Hi Tim. I have heard of her before, so thank you for jogging my memory. I'll definitely search for a biography of her now, and the Stuff... youtube channel.

message 20: by Sofia (new)

Sofia Castillo Hi!

I recommend 'The Caliban and the Witch' by Silvia Federici
and some Decolonial Feminists from Latin America like Maria Lugones (articles like 'The coloniality of gender') and cyborg feminism!, for that read Donna Haraway...books like Simians, Cyborgs and Women*. (*emphasis added)


message 21: by Chris (last edited Jul 28, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thank you, Sofia and Ashlyn!

message 22: by Paige (new)

Paige Barker | 7 comments If you are interested and haven't already I would recommend watching the documentary "she's beautiful when she's angry" I watched on Netflix but I'm sure you could find it somewhere else on the Internet of you don't have it. It's amazing it has interviews with some of the leading feminist activists and talks about the liberation movement, it has great footage and talks about the struggles they had as well as some of their biggest and most successful steps in the movement. I would also recommend when you watch it having a pad off paper and a pen to jot down some of the names and the books they mention, I researched some and some are well known yet other lead me to stuff I wouldn't have heard of otherwise, also saw some interesting things like artists work that was used and news papers and news articles that were from their time. It's incredible, only an hour and a half your time...

message 23: by Chris (last edited Jul 28, 2016 12:53PM) (new)

Chris | 13 comments Thanks, Paige. Will do! Netflix is about the only "TV" that I watch.

As a tangent: there's a new website called CuriosityStream which I'm excited about. Streams 100% nonfiction documentaries for only $3 a month. https://curiositystream.com.

message 24: by Kira (new)

Kira Treveil | 3 comments From a literature perspective, I would recommend the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy. She is an influential feminist writer in the UK and used to be Britain's Poet Laureate. Her words on feminism are so powerful, and the way she includes it in a poetical structure really helps the reader the question what she is saying. Plus they're a good read!

message 25: by Robin (new)

Robin | 1 comments There are a lot of good suggestions here. I have a few suggestions that cover LGTBQ & global women's issues, plus some history books:

Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano
Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Talpade Mohanty
Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics by Jennifer Baumgardner
Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists by Jean H. Baker
Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics by Cynthia Enloe
The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade by Ann Fessler
Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway; Consulting Editor John Bidwell
Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take On the Global Factory by Miriam Ching Yoon Louie
Kickboxing Geishas: How Modern Japanese Women Are Changing Their Nation by Veronica Chambers
Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman
Mexican American Women Activists by Mary Pardo
The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America by Dorothy Sue Cobble
Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class by Michelle Tea
FAT!SO?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size by Marilyn Wann
Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma by Ana Castillo

But there are a ton more books out there. Happy reading!

message 26: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Hi there,

I'm doing some clean up in the Book Suggestions folder. The purpose of the folder is to make it easier to find books of a specific genre or subject. As this is a list of many books on different themes, I'm going to lock and archive this thread. I suggest you post your recommendations either in one of the other general category threads, or according to topic by book in various threads so readers can find specific books that they are interested in!

Locked and archived

back to top
This topic has been frozen by the moderator. No new comments can be posted.