Mad Men


Here’s that episode of Mad Men (with subtitles) that we watched most of the other day:

Finish it off (or watch it again) and be ready to discuss it in relation to the readings I linked below:

These might seem like a lot of readings — well, skim them and pick which ones interest you most. Remember, you’re looking for things you can connect to what we saw in Mad Men, and our discussion of feminism, women’s status in the English-speaking world, and so on.

The panel discussion for the second half of class is, once again, as follows:


Often, non-Westerners engage in (either positive or negative) essentializing descriptions of the status of women in the West, as opposed to the status of women in their own society. But to speak of the status of women in the English-speaking world in this way is to ignore the fact that, in reality, women in the English-speaking world were historically as subject to sexism and subjugation as they are in the most sexist societies today.

What such “otherings” ignore is the degree of public effort and intellectual work through which women in the English-speaking world claimed this social power for themselves. This process of demanding empowerment and equality is known as “feminism.” The development and rise of feminism over the last few hundred years, and especially during the latter half of the 20th century, has radically transformed the way women live, but also the power structure of the Western world, as well as those societies into which feminism has successfully been imported.

Yet the translation of feminism to other cultures has enjoyed different degrees of success in different societies. Students in this panel will discuss the question of how feminism, as a phenomenon in the English-speaking world, does or does not translate well to Korean culture, as well as exploring the question of whether, as C. Douglas Lummis said of democracy, the importing of foreign cultural ideals (like democracy or gender equality) can allow societies to become “more completely themselves” — in other words, whether the promotion of gender equality and feminism in Korea necessarily threatens the traditional social order, or could be seen as allowing the best of Korean cultural tradition to be rediscovered and resurrected more profoundly to life.

Participants for this panel discussion are:

  • Eun Byul Lee
  • JiYoon Hu
  • Sora Kim
  • kyunghee park
  • dain kim

By the way, don’t panic about the “readings” for Thursday. I’ll give you one of them on Tuesday, and another after Thursday’s class. Both will be shorter than you probably fear.

Comments are closed.