Global Studies (GLST) 460

Famous Feminists and Their Times: Global History of Feminism (Revision 1)

glst 460

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: This course has no prerequisites. However, this is a third-year, senior level course, and it is recommended that you have taken other courses in History and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Precluded Course: GLST 460 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 3 different disciplines—HIST 460 and WGST 460 (GLST 460 cannot be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for WGST 366, HIST 366, GLST 366, HIST 401, WGST 400 or WMST 400.)

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Women's & Gender Studies home page

GLST 460 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Note: Your tutor is a vital component of GLST 460. Do not hesitate to phone your tutor during his or her tutoring hour(s), and feel free to email your tutor at any time. Verbalizing your ideas about the course themes and required readings will help you develop clear, comprehensive, and critical perspectives on the history of feminism.


Welcome to GLST 460: Famous Feminists and Their Times: Global History of Feminism.

Feminism is one of the great social movements of modern times. Using the personal writings of some of its most famous proponents, this course will trace the history of feminist thought from the late eighteenth century through to the early twentieth century. Taking to heart the 1970s feminist adage, “the personal is political,” we will learn about the history of feminism from the perspective of the women and men who, through their words and deeds, sought to challenge the prevailing socio-political, economic, and religious order that sanctioned female inequality in their lifetimes.

This course has no prerequisites. However, this is a third-year, senior level course, and it is recommended that you have taken other courses in History and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Course Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Describe the main themes of this course.
  • Explain what is meant by feminism.
  • Describe how post-colonial and transnational analyses have influenced conceptions of feminism and its history.
  • Compare the lives, circumstances, and works of the various feminists profiled in this course.

Course Outline

The Study Guide contains the six units listed below.

  • Unit 1 Introduction to the Course
  • Unit 2 Feminism: “Liberal Democracy’s Younger Sister”
  • Unit 3 Social Revolutionaries: Flora Tristan, Alexandra Kollontai, Emma Goldman, and James Oppenheim
  • Unit 4 Feminism, Nationalism, and Colonialism: Qasim Amin, Huda Shaarawi, Shareefeh Hamid Ali, and Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
  • Unit 5 Women and the Family: Friedrich Engels, Alva Myrdal, and Margaret Sanger
  • Unit 6 Feminism, Madness, and Creativity: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Virginia Woolf

Course Evaluation

To receive credit for GLST 460 you must complete four assessment activities: two short essay assignments, one research paper proposal, and one research paper. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on these activities. To receive credit for this course, you must achieve an overall grade of D (50 percent) or better for the entire course. The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Note: Please do not submit your assignments by email. All assignments must be submitted using the assignment drop boxes on the course home page. If you are unable to submit your assignments using the drop boxes, please contact your tutor to make alternative arrangements.

Activity Weight Due
Assignment 1: Five Short Essays 20% After Unit 1
Assignment 2: Research Paper Proposal 5% After Unit 4
Assignment 3: Ten Short Essays 40% After Unit 5
Assignment 4: Research Paper 35% After Unit 6
Total 100%  

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Freedman, Estelle B. (ed.). The Essential Feminist Reader. New York: Modern Library, 2007.

Other Materials

Other course materials for GLST 460 are mostly found on this website and in the Digital Reading Room (DRR).

Digital Reading Room

The Digital Reading Room (DRR) contains the assigned readings for the course. The Study Guide will direct you to these readings at appropriate points in the course. You may have to authenticate (i.e., sign in using your AU student ID and password) to view some of the course readings. If any of the links in the DRR do not work, you may find the required article by searching the Athabasca University Library databases. For search instructions, go to the Journal Search Tutorial. Please report any broken links to the Library Information Desk by email ( or phone (1-800-788-9041 ext. 6254).

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GLST 460 challenge registration, you must complete the Research Paper and Invigilated Exam and achieve a minimum grade of at least C-(60 percent) on both parts.

Activity Weighting
Research Paper 50%
Invigilated Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, March 14, 2017.