Office Hours: 11:00-12:00 MWF, by appointment, OR chance.
Purpose: To develop an understanding of the ways cultures assign different values and potentials to genders. We will do this through a thorough grounding in ethnography that will provide the background to examine the historical development of anthropological theories about gender and gender construction.
Class Structure: Discussion, lecture, and films. The class will be primarily discussion. I will lecture to provide background for the anthropological ideas and concepts. Students are expected to do the readings before class. Evaluation: Three essays. The first essay on classical vs. current approaches -- Malinowski and Weiner [27.5% of grade]. The second essay, analyzing violence and gender antagonisms [27.5%]. The third, comparing Neither Man nor Woman and The Left Hand of Darkness and how it illuminates issues related to the study of gender raised throughout the course [35%]. Essay three receives more weight because I expect you to integrate material from the previous sections of the course.
Within these three broad topics, students will come up with their own particular questions for the essays. Questions and/or general approaches must have my approval and are due a week before the essays are due. Essays will be from 5 to 7 pages - long enough to answer the question or cover the topic. Students have the option of revising their essays. If I judge an essay inadequate, I will ask the student to re-write his/her essay rather than receive a grade of D or F. Students must consult with me before they revise their essays. Revisions are due one week after I return the essays.
Class participation, 10% of grade: In order to motivate reading and class discussions -- brief summaries of the readings and discussion questions due as assigned. Due in class the day of the discussion. I will not accept late assignments. Class attendance is expected.
Heider, Karl Grand Valley Dani: Peaceful Warriors. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 3rd edition. 1997.
Herdt, Gilbert The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 1987
LeGuin, Ursula The Left Hand of Darkness. New York: Ace Books, 1987.
Nanda, Serena Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India. 2nd Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishers, 1999.
Weiner, Annette B. The Trobrianders of Papua New Guinea. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 1988
We will be reading parts of Malinowski, Bronislaw The Sexual Life of Savages. Boston: Beacon Press.1987 . I have placed 2 copies on reserve. The full text is available from the Human Relations Area Files on the web at: http://ets.umdl.umich.edu/cgi/e/ehraf/hraf-idx?type=toc&rgn=BOOK&byte=108711007. To get to the book: on Lehigh’s home page click on library, electronic resources, and then on databases. You will have to log in using your e-mail name and password. Once in, click on G-L, and then on Human Relations Area Files (eHRAF). Click on Browse Cultures and type in OL06 which is the code for Trobriand Islands, click on OL06 on the next page. This will take you to the guide to the Trobriand files, about two thirds down the page is Sexual Life of Savages. Click on it and there you are. Alternatively, on the first eHRAF page, click on citation search, type in Malinowski and click on The Sexual Life of Savages There are codes on every paragraph which makes for clunky reading but just ignore them.
I. Issues and Topics
Week 1 Jan. 17 - 19
Readings: Malinowski Special Forward to the 3rd Edition, pp. lvii-lxxxii.