Spring 2023 Religion UN2312 section 001

Religion and Nasty Women

Call Number 13064
Day & Time
TR 2:40pm-3:55pm
329 Pupin Laboratories
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Clemence C Boulouque
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 91 students (100 max) as of 5:06PM Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Subject Religion
Number UN2312
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Note Students should register for discussion: RELI 2313
Section key 20231RELI2312W001