PPS259 – WOMEN AS LEADERS
Because they are women or despite their being women? What explains how women achieve leadership positions in politics, in the boardroom, in local movements of resistance? What does it mean that in four short years, the number of women running for the House of Representatives surged from 167 to 237, and yet the two last candidates standing in the 2020 Democratic primary elections are both older white men? In this course, we will study the dynamics of women leadership with a focus on the U.S. What do we mean by leadership and how do narratives of leadership gain traction? What do they allow us to see and what do they obscure, how might they limit our understandings of the processes and possibility for change? What are the particular barriers that women face as they work towards and reach leadership positions? How are these barriers, and the strategies that women use to confront them, shaped by historical and institutional contexts? How do societal forces shape our own opportunities and choices to lead? This class will engage diverse topics both academically and personally, connecting the two approaches as we reflect on our own experiences of leading, and following, in our studies, our extracurricular commitments, our work, and in our lives. To discuss these issues, we will use autobiographies, documentaries, academic articles, and visits by guest speakers.