Fall 2009 not offered
This course is an introduction to the ethnographic study of gender and sexuality. We will ask, How have anthropologists understood sexuality? How much does sexuality vary cross-culturally? What can an ethnographic approach to gender and sexuality tell us about power, identity, or difference--both in the contemporary United States and in other places and times? We will explore gender, sexual practices, sexual identities, and transgendered peoples in both Western and non-Western contexts. Our reading will focus on five recent ethnographies of sex, gender, and sexuality on, for example, transgendered prostitutes in Brazil (TRAVESTI, Kulick); mail-order brides from China and the Philippines (ROMANCE ON A GLOBAL STAGE, Constable); Afro-Surinamese working-class women's sexuality (THE POLITICS OF PASSION, Wekker); hijra identity and community in South India (WITH RESPECT TO SEX, Reddy); fatness, beauty, and desire in Niger (FEEDING DESIRE, Popenoe); Filipino gay migrants in the United States (GLOBAL DIVAS, Manalansan); and strip club regulars in the U.S. (G-STRINGS AND SYMPATHY, Frank). We will also read articles on ritualized "homosexual" practices in Melanesia, the transnational politics of Bollywood, same-sex marriage in the United States and elsewhere, global sex work and sex worker's rights, and feminist debates over FGS.
Through the course we will think through the ways sexuality intersects with other social positionalities (such as class, nation, and race) and with larger global phenomena (such as globalization, transnational mass media and cross-border economies, activisms, and other flows). The goal of this course is to develop a critical understanding of the connections between sexuality, gender, bodies, identities, communities, and cultures. To this end, we will also consider the ways that ethnographic studies of sexuality contribute to some of the key questions and debates within anthropology, such as, Are some sexualities universal, or are they always culturally particular? What are the relationships among cultural change, globalization, and tradition? How can we investigate the politics of sexuality in both cross-cultural and transnational settings?
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(FGSS)(SISP-Anth Conc)
Nicole Constable, ROMANCE ON A GLOBAL SCALE
Don Kulick, TRAVESTY: SEX, GENDER AND CULTURAL AMONG BRAZILIAN TRANSGENDERED PROSTITUTES
Gloria Wekker, THE POLITICS OF PASSION
Martin Manalanson, GLOBAL DIVAS.
|Examination and Assignments: |
One or two turns as class discussion leader-presenter; (8) two to three page critical reading response papers; final (8-10 pps); research paper on aspect of sexuality of your choice.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
The reading list mentioned in the course description is to give you some idea of potential readings; email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like the finalized list of course texts.