Feminist Jurisprudence

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Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by

Feminist jurisprudence is a philosophy of law based on the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Students will be introduced to various schools of thought and concepts of inequality in the law spanning historical periods from the 1920s (ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution) to the present. Students will investigate historical foundations of gender inequality as well as the history of legal attempts to address that inequality, including U.S. Supreme Court cases; Federal laws, including Title VII and Title IX; and feminist jurisprudence. Lectures and discussions will include topics on the development of the Constitutional standard for sex equality, legal feminism from the 1970s to the present incorporating work and family as well as home and workplace conflicts. Students and faculty will review legal precedents related to feminist jurisprudence raised by the Supreme Court’s interpretations of the law and analyzed and discussed by the legal community in law review articles and related academic research. 

Issues presented by the cases will include, among others: women as lawyers, women and reproduction, prostitution, surrogacy and reproductive technology, women and partner violence, pornography, sexual harassment, taxation, gender and athletics. Students will also examine current and historical documents on inequality and legal issues that continue to impact women. Intersections of gender and race will also be critically analyzed.

The Socratic method and lectures will be the principal modes of instruction. Student panel presentations on assigned topics/cases will contribute to new knowledge and an enhanced understanding of feminist jurisprudence and its place in the historical development of women’s rights and responsibilities. 

In addition to panel presentations, students will be required to produce legal memoranda, journals and a final research project submitted in one of the following forms: a well-documented research paper/article on feminist jurisprudence, an art/graphics project reflecting historical or current women’s legal issues, or a forum on a specific feminist legal issue/topic, among others.

Program Details

Fields of Study

african american studies american studies education gender and women's studies government history law and government policy law and public policy political science

Preparatory For

government, political science, law, education, and public policy.


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, April 3 at 10am (Sem II D3107)

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

Special Expenses

Students should expect to pay approximately $25 for transportation to board meetings and interviews


2015-08-31New spring opportunity added.