The aim of this class is to understand the articulation of gender at the dawn of our political modernity between the second half of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the ninenteenth century.
This period corresponds to a key moment in the cultural and political consensus that has shaped inequality between the sexes until it was forcefully and publicly challenged in the twentieth century by a number of feminist movements.
Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) can be regarded as the first text offering a comprehensive feminist critique of the Enlightenment.
This significant pamphlet as well as Wollstonecrat's two short novels (Mary and Maria) are going to be the primary texts for this class, which all students are required to read. A number of other source texts in English or French will be presented in class and made available on Moodle in order to contextualize the early articulation of feminism - not yet known as such - by Mary Wollstonecraft.