Supplementary Sources: Shifting the Paradigm

Web Content:

This popular blog hosted a range of feminist and pro-feminist writing, video, and other content that can add lively conversation to any section on feminist theory. Note that the blog stopped running several years ago, so some content may be dated.
Muslims in America
Andrea Elliott’s Pulitzer’ Prize-winning series for the New York Times about a mosque in Brooklyn is an excellent companion to Said’s Orientalism.
PBS Global Connections
This website includes educational resources, timelines, and maps on the cultures, politics, and economics of the Middle East.
Race: Power of an Illusion
The PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion and its companion website provide a boatload of useful information on race as a social, political, and economic construct.
Racism Review
An excellent blog maintained by sociologists Joe Feagin and Jessie Daniels that provides superb analysis and well-vetted information on a range of issues related to race and racism, including a list of films to be used in the classroom.
Kimberlé Crenshaw’s TED Talk: The Urgency of Intersectionality
Crenshaw, widely recognized as the person who coined the term “intersectionality,” discusses its importance and provides helpful illustrations relating to labor and police violence.


Give Theory a Chance: Several Episodes featuring scholars who use and read Du Bois
In these episodes, scholars Angela Jones, Saida Grundy, and Matthew Clair explain Du Bois’s theoretical and methodological contributions to the social sciences and beyond. In one episode, Jones reads from chapter 1 of The Souls of Black Folk and provides commentary explaining Du Bois’s thought.
NPR’s Invisibilia: Paige’s Story
This episode shares about Paige Abendroth’s experience switching between gender identities. Some days, she felt masculine and would present that way; other days, she felt feminine and would present as a woman. Ultimately, after years living between categories, Abendroth transitioned to living as a transgender woman. The episode can be helpful in helping students think about the socially constructed nature of gender and gender categories, possibly alongside the reading from Simone de Beauvoir.
Hidden Brain: The Double Bind for Women in Leadership
This episode examines the double bind that women experience in leadership positions--that is, the contradiction between the expectations that people hold of women to behave in stereotypically feminine ways (caring, emotional, cooperative, etc.) vs. the perception that many have of leaders as stereotypically masculine (strong, decisive, unemotional, etc.). The episode highlights how women often face criticism for not being feminine enough if they embody stereotypical leadership traits and for not being good leaders if they embody stereotypically feminine traits. The episode can be helpful in applying De Beauvoir’s writing about gender essentialism.
Hidden Brain: Hookup Culture: The Unspoken Rules Of Sex On College Campuses
This interview with sociologist Lisa Wade examines hook-up culture on college campuses. Wade argues that the culture is toxic, promoting sexual violence. She uses intersectionality to dissect the racial, gender, and sexual identity hierarchies built into hook-up culture, as well as Goffman’s writing on the presentation of self to examine how people perform indifference as a way of gaining status. Students may find this interview especially applicable to their lives and experiences in college. Wade’s book goes into more detail on performativity, intersecting identities, and other issues related to hook-up culture.
BBC Radio 3 Sunday Feature: Afterwards: Simone De Beauviour
This discussion with De Beauvoir scholars and people who knew her provides an intimate view of her life, personality, and writing.
NPR Money: That Bloody Sales Tax
This brief episode examines sales taxes on tampons. It works well accompanying De Beauvoir’s writing, highlighting the economic and policy consequences of treating men as the standard for what it means to be human.
Examining Ethics: Identity Matters: Standpoint Epistemology with Briana Toole
In this discussion, philosopher Brianna O’Toole explains, defends, and applies standpoint theory to the real world. The podcast ties well into writings by Dorothy Smith and Patricia Hill Collins.
This American Life: Time Bandit
This episode shares the experience of composer and musician Jerome Ellis presenting at the St. Marks Poetry Contest. Contestants are required to present in 2-3 minutes; the time limit is strict. But Ellis has a speech impediment that inhibits his ability to speak quickly. His presentation is punctuated by long, awkward pauses, highlighting how people’s experiences of things that seem universal--like the passage of time--may be shaped in unequal ways by our intersecting identities. This episode works well alongside discussions on intersectionality in reminding students of the importance of disability in shaping people’s experiences.
Hidden Brain: Guys, We Have A Problem: How American Masculinity Creates Lonely Men
This episode examines the consequences of gender essentialism for men, highlighting how rigid understandings of masculinity--often termed “toxic”--isolate men and contribute to poor mental health.



Black in Latin America
This PBS series follows Henry Louis Gates, Jr., as he explores the role of colonialism in the making of race and identity in Latin America. Full episodes and additional content are available online.
New Muslim Cool
This compelling documentary traces the life of Puerto Rican rapper Hamza Pérez, a former drug dealer who converts to Islam and moves to Pittsburgh in search of faith and empowerment in a post-9/11 world. A great example of the complex intersections among race, class, religion, and nationality.
This film examines mass incarceration in the US, pointing out that the 13th Amendment makes an exception to outlawing slavery in the case of those imprisoned. The film traces how state and federal governments used that loophole to enslave African Americans during the Jim Crow era and through the drug war. The film provides numerous examples of structural racism and could fit well alongside readings from Omi and Winant, Du Bois, or Fanon.
Reel Bad Arabs
This documentary highlights how Arab men and women are depicted in films in stereotypical ways, providing an analysis of orientalism in cinema.
Killing Us Softly 4
This presentation/documentary by media scholar Jean Kilbourne examines how advertisers depict femininity and the consequences for men and women in terms of self-image and violence. The presentation could help students apply de Beauvoir’s argument on gender essentialism to their own lives and experiences.
The Mask You Wear
This documentary examines toxic masculinity and its consequences in terms of mental and relational illness violence. The film could provide an extension for discussing the social construction of gender and its consequences.

Feature Films and Clips

The Battle of Algiers
Gillo Pontecorvo’s powerful film about the 1950s struggle of Algerian independence provides many vivid examples of colonial subjugation as well as important context for Fanon’s White Skin, Black Masks. The scenes of Algerian women cutting their hair so they can pass French checkpoints and plant bombs in French cafes are particularly striking. Click here for more information.
A film portraying the rise and assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Republic of Congo after the country won its independence form colonial Belgium. An intriguing portrayal of postcolonial struggle and politics. Click here for more information.
A beautifully animated film that poignantly and humorously explores the intersections of gender, religion, and nationality. Click here for more information.
Based on real-life events, this film tells the story of a black girl born to white parents in 1950s apartheid South Africa. Provides a profound illustration of the struggles of living a life defined by racial double-consciousness.


Achebe, Chinua. 1996[1958]. Things Fall Apart. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Educational.
Details the life and times of Okonkwo, a leader of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria. A famous piece of postcolonial literature from one of Africa’s most acclaimed novelists.
Bayoumi, Moustafa. 2009. How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America. London, UK: Penguin Books.
Drawing on Du Bois’s concept of double-consciousness, Bayoumi investigates what it feels like to be young and Arab in the US since 9/11. The book highlights government surveillance and discrimmination aimed at Arab Americans.
Blumer, Herbert. 1958. “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position.” The Pacific Sociological Review. p. 3-7.
Blumer argues that we should understand racial discrimmination and prejudice as consequences of elites within privileged groups constructing a sense of threat against outgroups. This reading helps explain the social dynamics behind racial discrimmination and other forms of inequality.
Collins, Patricia Hill. 2005. Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. London: Routledge.
Collins investigates the intersection of sexuality, race, and gender and calls for a progressive gender politics in this powerful book. The chapter “Prisons for Our Bodies, Closets for Our Minds” is provided in full, courtesy of Routledge.
*Note to web designers: Please include link to full text copy here.
Connell, R.W. 1997. “Why is Classical Theory Classical?” American Journal of Sociology 102(6): 1511-1557.
This provocative article traces the roots of the sociological canon to the colonial project, which Connell argues came “at the price of narrowing sociology’s intellectual scope and concealing much of its history.” Essential reading for anyone interested in the creation of theoretical paradigms (or the shifting of them).
Frankenberg, Ruth. 1993. White Women, Race Matters: The Social Construction of Whiteness. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
An influential and groundbreaking study of the relationship between white privilege and gender relations.
Flood, Michael. 2018. “Australian Study Reveals the Dangers of ‘Toxic Masculinity’ to Men and Those Around Them.” The Conversation.
This short, readable article highlights the ways that gender essentialism hurts men and drives them to hurt other people.
Haraway, Donna. 1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London: Routledge.
This collection of essays by the science historian and feminist scholar traces her move from Marxist analysis to postmodern theory and “posthumanism.” Her influential essay “A Cyborg Manifesto” calls for feminists to move beyond essentialism and a call to nature. The full text of the essay is available courtesy of Routledge.
*Note to web designers: Please include link to full text copy here.
Lewis, Cora. 2017. “This App Warns You If You're Entering A Sketchy Financial District”. BuzzFeedNews.
This story looks into the development of the “White Collar Crime Risk Zones” app. Created as a parody and critique of “predictive policing” technologies that tend to focus on poor neighborhoods and people of color. A humorous and potent addition to Benjamin’s critique of “The New Jim Code”.
Narayan, Uma. 2004. “The Project of Feminist Epistemology: Perspectives from a NonWestern Feminist.” In The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies. Ps. 213-224. New York, NY: Routledge.
This paper highlights epistemic advantage, the idea that people from oppressed communities may have advantages in understanding the world because they have to understand it from multiple perspectives in order to survive, while the privileged only need to see their own. The text would fit well in extending readings by Du Bois, Fanon, Smith, and Hill Collins.
Petri, Alexandra. 2017. “When Potential Mentors are Mostly White and Male.” The Atlantic.
This article examines how white, male leadership can (sometimes intentionally but often unintentionally) reproduce itself as white men are drawn to mentoring other white men. The article works well as a practical application of Hill Collins’s writing on intersectionality.
Rich, Sarah. 2018. “Today’s Masculinity is Stifling.” The Atlantic.
This article examines the rigidity of masculinity in the US and consequences for mental and relational health for boys.
Smith, Dorothy E. 1993. Texts, Facts, and Femininity. London: Routledge.
This collection of essays by the feminist theorist looks at how texts construct social relations. Included is her famous work “K is Mentally Ill: the Anatomy of a Factual Account,” which is provided in full, courtesy of Routledge.
*Note to web designers: Please include link to full text copy here.
Stoler, Ann Laura. 1995. Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Duke University Press
A creative and critical extension of Foucault’s thought on sexuality into the race and gender hierarchies of colonialism.
Valdes, Marcela. 2022. “Inside the Push to Diversify the Book Business”. The New York Times Magazine.
The book industry has long focused on the interests and tastes of white readers. This feature-length story provides an in-depth look at a new generation of book executives who are attempting to diversify the business as well as the kinds of books that get published.
Wilkinson, Isabel. 2020. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. New York, NY: Random House.
This text analyzes race in the US alongside other caste systems like that of India and Nazi Germany. The book makes accessible to non-academics a way of understanding and analyzing racial inequality that scholars have drawn on for decades. The text may be useful as extensions to Du Bois’s or Fanon’s writing.
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