Your précis should be a bullet-pointed outline (1-2 pgs, TNR font) and include the following:
1. Identify the 2 out of 4 essay prompts in Part A and 1 out of 2 essay prompts in Part B of the midterm exam for which you will choose to write essays (see page 2, you have options galore!)
2. Identify which key assigned authors/readings you will need to answer those specific essay prompts (include the full author citations so that you can practice how to cite properly!).
3. Identify the primary argument(s) and/or major keywords of those readings (1-2 sentences), begin to define those keywords (1-2 sentences) and explain why they are most compelling or useful in analyzing the questions of your chosen essay prompt.
4. Identify what days in your schedule, according to your calendar, that you will dedicate to working on the GWS 101 midterm exam between 2.21.21 and the exam’s deadline of 3.7.21.
PART A: KEYWORD RESPONSES (60 points total). Choose TWO of the following questions and write a brief (1.5 double-spaced pages) essay response to each of them (for a total of 3 pages).
What is biopower? Using an example from the readings in weeks 3-5, describe how biopower has regulated the lives of one group of people in particular (e.g., women, people of color, colonized groups, and/or the low-income and working class.
According to Jennifer Terry’s “Significant Injury” in week 4, modern warfare advances our understanding of medical science. In the process, western medicine also contributes to new technologies that advance and perpetuate US militarism. Using her concept of a “signature wound,” describe the relation between medical science and militarism.
Many of the scholars we have read in class discuss the historical relation between gender, poverty, and overpopulation. Using two or three keywords from the textbook readings in week 5, explain the connection between poverty, reproduction, and population growth. Be sure to define your use of these keywords based on the readings.
Many of the scholars we have read in class explore the relationship between motherhood and nationhood. Using at least two of the assigned readings in week 5 (especially Inderpal Grewal’s “Security Moms”), explain how mothers became central to both the British and US nation-states, respectively, in different historical periods.
PART B: ESSAY (40 points). Write a 2.5 to 3-page double-spaced essay in response to ONE of the following questions.
According to the readings in weeks 1-4, what is the difference between social constructionism and biological essentialism? What is an example of an essentialist understanding of gender, race, or sex from the textbook readings? What is an example of a social constructionist understanding from the readings? In your response, be sure to draw on (and define your use of) the keywords listed in the study guide below. Finally, (and most importantly!) explain why social constructionism would be of particular use to feminist or anti-racist activists for social justice.
According to the readings in week 6 and 7, what is the difference between a “nation,” “state,” and “nationalism”? Why are these distinctions important to our understanding of feminism? How, according to Priya Kandaswamy, have different kinds of feminists engaged with the US nation-state in the late 20th century and to what effect? Finally, what are some of the benefits and limitations of these methods with regards to anti-domestic violence activism?
GWS 101 KEY CONCEPTS and STUDY GUIDE
Categories of difference
Differential distribution of power, resources, and life chances
Systems and structures of inequality, power, and violence
The Invisible Knapsack: the unseen and the unsaid of privilege based on difference
Norms and Normalization
Week 2 & 3
Centrality of Western science as ‘modern’ and legitimate
Nature vs. Culture
Sex-gender binary and the heterosexual matrix
European colonial expansion and knowledge
Difference and Inequality
Social Darwinism, Malthusianism, Eugenics
Ideals and norms
History of Science
Sex and bodily difference
Eunuchs and Third Gender
The “Homosexual Gene”
Sex acts vs. sexual identities
Late 19 th medical discourse
Categories of difference are socially constructed but socially real
Change over time
Medical reform and its effect on new groups of people
Women and Medicine
Social construction of race
Racial formation and racial fabrication
Genetics and evolution.
Morphing and miscegenation
Social context for female castration in the US
Abortion and Reproductive Freedom
Colonialism and Medicine
Women’s Bodies and the Nation
Public Health and Domestic Hygiene
Treatment of the insane and the poor
Race/class Implications of Western Science
Circumcision and Female Genital Mutilation
Biopower and Biopolitics
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