#MeToo: Sex, Power and the Public Sphere

New School for Social Research: Sociology

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)

#MeToo: Sex Power & Public Sph

Summer 2019

Taught By: Elzbieta Matynia

Section: A

CRN: 2042

Credits: 3

The association of sex, power and politics is old – as old, after all, as Pandora’s box. Yet something new is happening that is shaking up the public sphere in ways that are profound. The global expressions of empathy and recognition of sexual harassment and sexual violence across the world, under the hashtag MeToo, offered a new framing for movements against patriarchy in the 21st century. New discussions about gender and power in the workplace – whether in corporate or in political office – have been enabled, and on a scale unimaginable in previous moments of political reframing. Powerful men have been exposed as sexual predators, and a culture of silence and complicity has been revealed. #MeToo reinvigorated older questions about who gets heard in the public sphere and in political systems that are determinedly and stubbornly white and male, despite the major inroads of civil rights, queer and women’s movements in the past decades. Although some of its most spectacular tactics resulted in public naming of predators, it has broader impact for the ways in which it re-centred sexual violence as systemic, embedded in institutions and practices, rather than as moral pathologies of individual men. For some, the movement reflects a crisis in democracy as the increasing presence of women in the public sphere does not appear to have translated into real authority and voice in society. For others, though, it puts democracy into crisis as its tactics appear to flout the norms of procedural justice. This course will consider longstanding questions about the relationship between public and private power, authority and voice, drawing on feminist, critical race and queer theory. It will examine the effectiveness and limits of human rights discourses within the liberal juridical framing, questioning its capacities to address and adjudicate invisibilised and normalized forms of power. It will examine the social movement tactics of the #MeToo movement, thinking afresh about the mobilization of affect in politics: not only rage but also the effectiveness of sympathy and empathy, and of the creation of shared recognition as the basis of politics. Might democracy be renewed, after all? ***This course will count toward the requirements of the New School Gender and Sexuality Studies Certificate

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Sociology (GSOC)

Campus: Overseas (OS)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 5:35pm 10/22/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: TBD

Times: TBD

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 7/9/2019 - 8/4/2019