Intersections in Black Feminist Movement and Research (PSY4272.01)

Özge Savas

Intersectionality has become a buzzword. But, what does it really mean? Where are the roots of intersectional thinking? How do we use it today? In this course, we will trace back the history of Intersectionality as a theory and practice within Black Feminist Thought and Movement, then learn how it traveled into psychology and how it is used in research today. In the first third of the semester we will study original texts by Combahee River Collective and Black Feminists, Third World Women’s Alliance, and Chicana Feminists. Next, we will examine intersectionality as a developing theoretical framework since the 1990s in broader feminist social scientific imagination. And lastly, we will focus on how intersectionality traveled into psychology in the early 2000s and how it is used in research today. We will also touch on a wide range of ways of “doing intersectional scholarship,” including qualitative analysis, visual arts, ethnography, archival research, and quantitative analysis. Our goal in this course is to center Black Feminist Thought in assessing the how intersectionality is used in scientific research, in particular in psychological research. While doing this, we will pay attention to a broad range of multiple social locations we each occupy in categories such as race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, religion, nation, language, ability.

Learning Outcomes:
-Explain the historical origins of intersectionality theory, and its relevance in contemporary psychological research.
-Identify interlocking systems of oppression (i.e. racism, sexism, classism, heteropatriarchy, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism) and analyze how they construct different realities for individuals who occupy positions of marginality and privilege variously.
-Generate research questions to be answered through psychological empirical research using an intersectional lens.
-Develop a muscle for self-reflexivity (both in everyday interactions, and in academic writing), and an ability to evaluate your social positionality and identities in its situated context.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor ( Include in your email: (1) if you have taken any courses that centers gender, and/or race/ethnicity as analytical categories before, (2) if you have taken any research methods, statistics, or qualitative or quantitative methods class, (3) if you were involved in any efforts to collect and/or analyze data before (e.g., survey, interview), (4) if you have no experience in one or more of the above, consider if these are things that motivates you and whether you would like to get experience in those three areas. Word limit for your initial email to the instructor: 200.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 10:00AM - 11:50AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Fully In-Person , Psychology
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