Spring 2023 Religion UN2313 section 004

Religion and Nasty Women - Discussion

Religion and Nasty Women-

Call Number 18009
Day & Time
T 4:15pm-5:15pm
C01 80 Claremont Ave
Points 0
Grading Mode Ungraded
Approvals Required None
Instructor Shweta Radhakrishnan
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description

Used in 2016 by then presidential candidate, Donald Trump, in reference to his female opponent, Hillary Clinton, the phrase “nasty woman” has become a badge of honor and a rallying cry for women’s empowerment.

The origin of the word “nasty,” attested in the 14th century, indicates highly unpleasant qualities- nauseating or unclean, in a literal or figurative way. It also came to evoke indecency and obscenity- and religious traditions have a long history of such depiction of women.

After introducing some key texts on the otherness and objectification of women (including by Aristotle, Beauvoir, Kristeva, Nussbaum, and Butler), we will examine a number of female characters-  goddesses, prostitutes, and virgins  - in the Mesopotamian, Greek, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic corpus  that fit the definition of nasty. We will also analyze some of the underlying tropes of impurity and danger that characterize nastiness involving bodily fluids, sexuality, and knowledge. Spanning theology, literature, movies, and popular culture the course aims to be a survey of religious-based misogyny as well as women’s responses in their pursuit of agency.

Web Site Vergil
Department Religion
Enrollment 23 students (25 max) as of 12:06PM Saturday, September 30, 2023
Subject Religion
Number UN2313
Section 004
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20231RELI2313W004