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Feminist Theory: Marxism and Feminism

Eileen Boris
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What are the affects of class and where does intimate labor fit into Marxist notions of use and exchange value? Is commodification and decommodification gendered? How does an intersectional perspective illuminate such processes as the wage? What is the sex of class and the class of pleasure? This graduate seminar explores that which economist and feminist theorist Heidi Hartmann called “the unhappy marriage of Marxism and Feminism” by considering key texts in the historical construction of the woman question, the traffic in women, double and triple oppression, the domestic labor debate, the political economy of women’s liberation, alternative household economy, commodity fetishism, reproductive labor, the dialectic of sex, and queering class. Including classic Marxist and other radical writings from the 19th century through WWII, it also turns to more recent works of socialist feminism, materialist feminism, and queer theory, taking account of intersectionality, settler colonialism, racial capitalism, and anti-imperialism. It explores how the Marxist tradition considered gender, sexuality, the home, the family, women, and reproductive labor in relation to race and sexualities.