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Women in an Ideal Society

(POLS 494) Spring 2014

What is the role of women in an ideal society?

Or, what is the appropriate or just role of women in political life? Are women fundamentally different than men? Is there such a thing as human nature or as female nature? And how does “femininity” qualify or disqualify women from political participation? How does the form of government affect the views of the appropriate role of women in society? These are the sorts of questions that this course poses. Answers are pursued through reading various philosophical, political, historical, and literary texts, from antiquity to the present. The National Endowment for the Humanities, through its Enduring Questions Program, is generously supporting the development of this course. This program means to encourage lively intellectual debate around questions that have always been and will likely continue to be at the center of humanistic inquiry.

The Political Science Department is debuting this course in spring 2014 (as POLS 494). Undergraduates will have the opportunity to study this important set of questions in a seminar format. This course will count as a senior seminar for those enrolling in the POLS Justice and Democracy emphasis and will also count towards the Women’s Studies minor.

Check back here to find more information about the course and co- and extra-curricular events that will begin to unfold later this semester.