PHIL 510 A: Seminar in Social Philosophy

Autumn 2022
Th 3:30pm - 5:20pm / SAV 359
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

Contemporary Feminist Thought:

The Work of Jennifer Nash

THU 3.30-5.20pm in SAV 359

Facilitator: Carina Fourie (kuh-REE-nah fuu-REE), she/her pronouns

Office Hours: Th 1.30-2.30pm SAV 389; F 9-10 on Zoom (Meeting ID: 995 1056 4104).


The seminar on contemporary feminist theory centers on two books by Jennifer Nash, the Jean Fox O'Barr Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at Duke University. The first book is on intersectionality and its role in Black feminism, Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality (2017), and the second is on Black motherhood, Birthing Black Mothers (2021). Both books fall within the purview of feminist philosophy, critical race theory and Black feminist thought, with the latter text also being directly relevant to bioethics and aesthetics. We will be bringing Nash's work into conversation with the work of other contemporary scholars, including that of Serene Khader, Jasbir Puar, Yuriko Saito, Joan Tronto, and Eve Tuck. Guest appearances by Beyoncé and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

From within Black feminism, Nash critiques and revises primary but frequently glossed over concepts such as intersectionality. In Black Feminism Reimagined she critiques a defensive, protectionist stance towards theories of intersectionality. She argues that treating “intersectionality” as a kind of property of Black feminism undermines the possibility of Black feminism providing a significant intellectual contribution to the resistance of oppressions. In Birthing Black Mothers Nash critiques the symbol of the tragically heroic Black mother, damaged by police violence and the structural racism that infiltrates medicine, but resilient in the face of it. With the aim of disrupting the primary discourse of damage and crisis, she identifies and assesses Black feminists' contribution to the “feminist birthing industry” and to portrayals of Black motherhood, arguing that Black women’s agency is recreating those industries and complicating portrayals of motherhood.

In February 2023, seminar participants will have the opportunity to meet Nash and participate in a symposium dedicated to her work.

Overview of the Schedule

Thu, Sep 29: Introductions

Thu, Oct 6: Black Feminism Reimagined with Jasbir Puar

Thu, Oct. 13: Black Feminism Reimagined

Thu, Oct 20: Black Feminism Reimagined with Serene Khader & Alison Jaggar

Thu, Oct 27: Black Feminism Reimagined meets Birthing Black Mothers

Thu, Nov 3: Birthing Black Mothers with Eve Tuck

Thu, Nov. 10: Birthing Black Mothers with Joan Tronto

Thu, Nov. 17: Birthing Black Mothers with Yuriko Saito

Thu Dec. 1: Birthing Black Mothers

Thu Dec. 8: Seminar Conference

Finals Week: Term Papers Due Wed Dec. 14

Assignments & Grading

Your final grade will be based on points out of 100:

  • Participation, Reading Responses and Reflections: 14 points (credit or no-credit). You need only submit 7 of the 9 weekly Reading Responses and 7 of the 9 Reflections.
  • Abstract of Presentation (around 500 words): 8 points (credit or no-credit).
  • Peer Review of Abstract (around 500 words): 8 points (credit or no-credit).
  • Conference Presentation & Comment: 10 points (credit or no-credit).
  • Full Paper (around 6000 words): 60 points (due date: Wed Dec 14, 11:59pm).

More details on assignments will become available on Canvas in due course. Consult the “Assignments” Module and the “Discussion Board”. Final points will be converted to a grade on the 4.0 scale (I reserve the right to adjust the final grade).

If for some reason you are unable to attend the seminar regularly, please consult me ASAP for alternative arrangements.

Access & accommodations

Your experience in this class is important! If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), (Links to an external site.) please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so you can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but are not limited to: mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 (Voice & Relay) or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS. It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Health & wellbeing

For resources on health and well-being, including counseling and crisis services, please consider the Husky Health and Well-Being website (Links to an external site.)

COVID-19 protocols

To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Wear a high-quality mask indoors. UW stipulates that masks are strongly recommended the first two weeks of the quarter and will be recommended after that, so long as we stay in the CDC’s “low” community level. High-quality masks protect the wearer and others, and they continue to be available for free on campus (Links to an external site.).

If you are sick with any illness, you must stay home, even if you are fully vaccinated. 

For more information on COVID-19, including vaccination and testing, please click on this link (Links to an external site.).

Let's work together to keep each other safe!

Undocumented students

I am committed to working with and for undocumented students. Resources and further information are available for you here (Links to an external site.). Please feel free to speak to me about any additional help you may need due to your undocumented status or its implications. 

Multilingual learners (MLL)

I am committed to supporting multilingual learners, some of whom may not feel as comfortable speaking, reading or writing in English than they do in other languages. Academic support (Links to an external site.) and non-academic support (Links to an external site.) are available on the UW website. 

Use of plagiarism detection software notice

The University has a license agreement with SimCheck ("Turnitin"), an educational tool that helps prevent or identify plagiarism from Internet resources. I am using this service in this class by requiring that assignments are submitted electronically to be checked by SimCheck. The SimCheck Report will indicate the amount of original text in your work and whether all material that you quoted, paraphrased, summarized, or used from another source is appropriately referenced. 



Academic misconduct, including plagiarism, is prohibited by the Student Conduct Code for the University of Washington and is taken very seriously by the UW. According to the student conduct code, academic misconduct includes:
1.    "Cheating" which includes, but is not limited to:
a.    The use of unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, or examinations, or completing assignments;
b.    The acquisition, use, or distribution of unpublished materials created by another student without the express permission of the original author(s);
c.    Using online sources, such as solution manuals, without the permission of the instructor to complete assignments, exams, tests, or quizzes; or
d.    Requesting, hiring, or otherwise encouraging someone to take a course, exam, test, or complete assignments for a student.
2.    "Falsification," which is the intentional use or submission of falsified data, records, or other information including, but not limited to, records of internship or practicum experiences or attendance at any required event(s), or scholarly research.
3.    "Plagiarism," which is the submission or presentation of someone else's words, composition, research, or expressed ideas, whether published or unpublished, without attribution. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
a.    The use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment; or
b.    The unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or acquired from an entity engaging in the selling of term papers or other academic materials.
4.    Unauthorized collaboration.
5.    Engaging in behavior specifically prohibited by an instructor in the course of class instruction or in a course syllabus.
6.    Multiple submissions of the same work in separate courses without the express permission of the instructor(s).
7.    Taking deliberate action to destroy or damage another's academic work in order to gain an advantage for oneself or another.
8.    The recording of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), unless approved as a disability accommodation, and/or the dissemination or use of such unauthorized records.
(Source: WAC 478-121 - Academic Misconduct)
Plagiarism may lead to disciplinary action by the University against the student who submitted the work. Any student who is uncertain whether his or her use of the work of others constitutes plagiarism should consult the course instructor for guidance before formally submitting the course work involved.


Incomplete grades may only be awarded if a student is doing satisfactory work up until the last two weeks of the quarter and has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student’s control. (Sources: Office of the Registrar – Incomplete Grades), UW General Catalog, Student Guide – Grading System) 


A student who believes that the instructor erred in the assignment of a grade, or who believes a grade recoding error or omission has occurred, shall first discuss the matter with the instructor before the end of the following academic quarter (not including Summer Quarter). If the student is not satisfied with the instructor’s explanation, the student, no later than ten days after their discussion with the instructor, may submit a written appeal to the chair of the Department of Philosophy with a copy of the appeal also sent to the instructor. The chair consults with the instructor to ensure that the evaluation of the student’s performance has not been arbitrary or capricious. Should the chair believe the instructor’s conduct to be arbitrary or capricious and the instructor declines to revise the grade, the chair, with the approval of the voting members of his or her faculty, shall appoint an appropriate member, or members, of the faculty of the Department of Philosophy to evaluate the performance of the student and assign a grade. The Dean and Provost should be informed of this action. Once a student submits a written appeal, this document and all subsequent actions on this appeal are recorded in written form for deposit in a School file. (Source: UW General Catalog, Student Guide – Grading System)


If you have any concerns about a philosophy course or your instructor, please see the instructor about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with the instructor or not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the chair of the program offering the course (names available from the Department of Philosophy, 361 Savery Hall).

If you have any concerns about a teaching assistant, please see the teaching assistant about these concerns as soon as possible. If you are not comfortable talking with the teaching assistant or not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the instructor in charge of the course. If you are still not satisfied with the response that you receive, you may contact the chair of the program offering the course (names available from the Department of Philosophy, 361 Savery Hall), or the Graduate School at G-1 Communications Building (543-5900).


The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran in accordance with University of Washington policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.


Sexual harassment is defined as the use of one’s authority or power, either explicitly or implicitly, to coerce another into unwanted sexual relations or to punish another for his or her refusal, or as the creation by a member of the University community of an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment through verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. 

If you believe that you are being harassed, seek help—the earlier the better. You may speak with your instructor, your teaching assistant, the undergraduate advisor (363 Savery Hall), graduate program advisor (366 Savery Hall), or the chair of the philosophy department (364 Savery Hall). In addition, you should be aware that the University has designated special people to help you. For assistance you may contact: SafeCampus; Office of the Ombud (339 HUB, 206-543-6028); Title IX Investigation Office (for complaints that a University student has violated the sexual misconduct provisions of the Student Conduct Code); University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office (for complaints concerning the behavior of University employees, including faculty, teaching assistants, and other student employees).


The Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings (ORMP) coordinates the University’s handling of allegations of research misconduct against members of the University community, in consultations and cooperation with the University’s schools, colleges, and campuses.

University rules define scientific and scholarly misconduct to include the following forms of inappropriate activity: intentional misrepresentation of credentials; falsification of data; plagiarism; abuse of confidentiality; deliberate violation of regulations applicable to research.

Students can report cases of scientific or scholarly misconduct either to the ORMP, to their faculty adviser, or the department chair. The student should report such problems to whomever he or she feels most comfortable. 
(Sources: Executive Order No. 61 – Research Misconduct Policy; Office of Research Misconduct Proceedings; minutes of Grad School Executive Staff and Division Heads meeting, 7/23/98.)


Preventing violence is everyone's responsibility. SafeCampus is the University of Washington’s Violence Prevention and Response Program. They support students, staff, faculty, and community members in preventing violence. SafeCampus staff will listen to your concerns and provide support and safety plans tailored to your situation. Caring, trained professionals will talk you through options and connect you with additional resources if you want them.
If you're concerned, tell someone.
•    Always call 911 if you or others may be in danger.
•    Call 206-685-SAFE (7233) to report non-urgent threats of violence and for referrals to UW counseling and/or safety resources. TTY or VP callers, please call through your preferred relay service.
•    Don't walk alone. Campus safety guards can walk with you on campus after dark. Call Husky NightWalk 206-685-WALK (9255).
•    Stay connected in an emergency with UW Alert. Register your mobile number to receive instant notification of campus emergencies via text and voice messaging. Sign up for UW Alert online.
•    For more information visit the SafeCampus website.


Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form (


Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the UW Any Hungry Husky Program. Any Hungry Husky provides hunger relief free of judgment or stigma. Go to for information about the food pantry and food security grants. In addition, UW offers emergency aid for students experiencing unexpected financial hardships that may disrupt their education or get in the way of completing their degree. Go to for more information about how to apply.


Faculty members at U.S. universities – including the University of Washington – have the right to academic freedom which includes presenting and exploring topics and content that other governments may consider to be illegal and, therefore, choose to censor. Examples may include topics and content involving religion, gender and sexuality, human rights, democracy and representative government, and historic events.

If, as a UW student, you are living outside of the United States while taking courses remotely, you are subject to the laws of your local jurisdiction. Local authorities may limit your access to course material and take punitive action towards you. Unfortunately, the University of Washington has no authority over the laws in your jurisdictions or how local authorities enforce those laws.

If you are taking UW courses outside of the United States, you have reason to exercise caution when enrolling in courses that cover topics and issues censored in your jurisdiction. If you have concerns regarding a course or courses that you have registered for, please contact your academic advisor who will assist you in exploring options.


Last updated:
April 9, 2024 - 1:44 pm