Social Anthropology: Birth and Sex and Death Mondays 11-1 Room 5N 7 Andrew Canessa, Room No. 326 Tel: 2656



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Social Anthropology:

Birth and Sex and Death
Mondays 11-1

Room 5N 4.7
Andrew Canessa, Room No. 6.326 Tel: 2656

Office hours

Andrew Canessa’s office hours are on Mondays between 9.30 and 10.30 and on Thursdays between 11 and 12. You will find an appointment sheet on my door.



General Introduction to Course

This course looks at a number of anthropological themes through the framework of the human life cycle: birth, sex, death. It should not be considered a general introduction to anthropology although reference will be made to a number of central debates. This course will use material from a wide variety of societies and the emphasis will be on a general discussion of human society rather than examining any particular culture in great detail. This course uses material from all the continents inhabited by humans.


Teaching

The course group meets weekly for two hours at a time. The sessions will be characterised by a mixed format of lecturing, group activity and open discussion. A typical session will consist of a half-hour lecture after which students will read a short piece of text relevant to the lecture. After reading, students will form themselves into groups (this is flexible - groups may be as small as three and as large as six) in which they will discuss a number of questions relating to the reading and the preceding lecture. After a period of small group work the discussion is opened to include everyone. The process is repeated with more lecturing for short periods followed by group work and discussion. The final twenty minutes to half hour of the session will normally be devoted to discussion of the key texts set for reading.


The aims of this teaching method are as follows:

  • To allow students to understand, absorb, and critically examine lecture material before they leave the lecture theatre. The alternative is an hour-long lecture in which students passively take notes without really engaging with the material until they subsequently review their notes.

  • To give students the opportunity to discuss material in a small (and therefore less intimidating environment) before opening the discussion to all. It is envisaged that students will feel more able to express their ideas in public if they have already had the opportunity to do so in a smaller group and perhaps write down what they wish to say. In this way an important skill is developed.


Course Structure and Work Requirements

The course runs for twenty sessions and students are expected to read at least two articles or chapters per week. This should be considered the absolute minimum. A reading pack will be made available to students at a reasonable cost which will include all the essential reading.

You are expected to attend all sessions and contribute to discussion and debate.
Course Assessment
There are five kinds of assessment for this course





Coursework

70% of total

Reading Assessment
Ten assignments

10%

Group Assessment

Two assignments

30%

Tests

Two assignments

20%

Essays

Two assignments

40%




Total coursework

100%



Exam

30% of total




Total Exam

100%

A pass constitutes 40% or above in the overall assessment.


  • Reading Assessment – Ten exercises.
Students will be given questions relating to that week’s reading which will be posted on the web. They must answer the questions based on their reading and hand them in the following week. The answers will be discussed in class. The maximum number of points awarded is five.

An adequate answer is one that represents a considered response to the question based on the reading. In some cases there may be several possible ‘adequate’ answers to the question.


A good answer is one that shows particularly close reading of the article; a very complete answer; and an answer which shows very good understanding.
Note that a maximum of 100% can be obtained in this assessment.

Reading assignments must be handed in in class and will usually be marked and left for collection the same day. Because the answers are discussed in class it is not possible to hand the reading assignments in late. If you find you are unable to make the class I will permit you to hand in the reading assignment before the class; but under no circumstances will I accept them after the class has taken place.


Pedagogical Justification:

Directed reading is a very useful way for students to learn. The question will direct students to important points in the texts and teach them to read in a more focused and critical manner. This mode of assessment will also encourage a more sustained engagement with the course.



Note: The reading assignments will be downloadable from the website and students can type in their answers. The reading assignment will also be available in the reading pack.
Group Assessment - Two exercises.
These exercises are for groups and the final mark is shared among all the members. The minimum size of the group is three, the maximum is five. In order that a copy of the essay goes in your file multiple copies of the essay must be handed in; one copy per person plus one extra copy for me to mark. A special cover sheet which must be attached to each copy can be downloaded from the course website.
It is expected that groups will form ‘naturally’ but I reserve the right to impose an individual on any group which has fewer than five members. They may divide the work up any way they wish but may wish to consider allocating different reading items and different parts of the writing of the final document. You must ensure, however, that the final document is coherent and avoids repetition and contradiction.
The format is the same as an essay and should include a bibliography. The titles (based on the class debates) are:
Group Essay 1 To what extent is female genital cutting a basic breach of human rights in all circumstances?
Group Essay 2 ‘How useful is the term ‘homosexuality’ in cross-cultural analysis?’
There are (at least) two sides to these questions and students will have a chance to familiarise themselves with differing perspectives in the debates on which these group essay titles are based. It is a basic expectation of the essay that it show good knowledge of the opposing view(s).
Pedagogical justification.

These exercises assesses students’ ability to work together, co-operate in researching an issue and to co-operate in writing up a report. Students also learn to consider the opposite side of a debate. One of the key aspects of this assessment is the very important skill in dividing work and dealing with different talents within the group. It is expected, however, that all students participate fully in this assessment. Nevertheless one of the issues you may have to deal with in the group is that some people pull more of their weight than others. This is a ‘real life’ situation that you will be learning to deal with.


Note: Students will have already had considerable opportunity to work together in groups before this first group assessment is due. It is therefore expected that students will easily be able to choose their groups and build on pre-existing co-operative relationships.


  • Tests – Two tests

Each of these two 45-minute tests will require short answers to questions. This will be asking for definitions of key concepts; asking to demonstrate understanding of ethnographic material; asking for outlines of key theories.
Pedagogical justification

These tests will assess students’ grasp of key concepts and ideas and test their understanding of the material discussed in class. They will also aid the teacher in assessing his own effectiveness in communicating key concepts etc. with time to take remedial action if necessary.



Note: These tests are covered under the University’s provision for exams. If you find that you are unable to attend a test for a good reason you must fill in an extenuating circumstances form available from the undergraduate office.


  • Essays - Two essays

Standard assessment -- deadlines set by the department.


Pedagogical justification

Essays allow students to examine two areas of the course in greater depth and develop ideas and arguments in writing.




  • Exam – One 2-hour exam, 30% of the final assessment.

Standard assessment. There will be a choice of questions covering the entire course. Students are required to answer one question. A previous year’s exam is available in the course pack.


Pedagogical justification

The exam will test students’ knowledge of the course as a whole as opposed to a particular aspect of it.




A note on essays

Each essay should be at least two thousand words. There is no upper limit to the length of essays for this course but students should be careful to avoid repetition and redundancy. Essays should be typed, proof-read and contain a bibliography in a standard style. If you are unclear how a bibliography should be laid out have a look at any academic article or see the notes in my web page.


Essay titles

Students are encouraged to develop their own essay titles but these must be approved by the course tutor.


Summary
Autumn Term



Week 2

No assessment

Week 3

No assessment

Week 4

Reading 1: Thomas Lacquer

Week 5

No assessment

Week 6

Reading 2: Paloma Gay y Blasco

Week 7

Reading 3: Delaney

Week 8

No assessment

Week 9

Reading 4: Llewellyn Davis

Week 10

Reading 5: Bloch & Guggenheim

First Essay due Friday, Dec 7. .

Week 11

Test Debate. Group Assessment Due Week 17


Spring Term


Week 16

No assessment

Week 17

Reading 6: Ortner Group Assignment 1 Due Jan 25

Week 18

No assessment

Week 19

Reading 7: Wikan

Week 20

Reading 8: Harries

Week 21

Reading Week No assessment

Second Essay Due, Friday, Feb 22

Week 22

No assessment

Week 23

Debate. Group Assessment Due Week 31

Week 24

Reading 9: Scheper Hughes

Week 25

Test


Summer Term



Week 30

Reading 10: Bloch

Week 31

No assessment – Mock exam

Group Assignment 2 Due May 2

Week 32

No assessment – Mock exam



Please note:

The reading assessments must be submitted in class. All other assessments must be handed in to the Sociology Department office.
(a) Departmental Guidelines stipulate the minimum amount of work you must do each term - ideally you will do more.

(b) Late essays are not acceptable unless there are clear extenuating circumstances

(c) If you fall behind in Departmental Deadlines there is a marks penalty outlined in the 'Assessment Rules'.

Reader

A reader of all the key readings and some others will be available for purchase. All of these readings are available in the library but the reader is excellent value for money. Since there is no key textbook for the course it is expected that every student buy the reader. Since the reader is made easily and cheaply available there can be no question about students being able to find the week’s reading.


Anthropology Journals


The Journals below are available in the Essex University Library:

Annual Review of Anthropology

Anthropological Quarterly

Australian Journal of Anthropology

Critique of Anthropology

Ethnology

Journal of Ethnic Studies

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, incorporating Man

Handouts

Handouts will be.distributed week by week. They will normally be available on the website at least a day in advance



Website

I have a personal website where you will find information on my teaching, including tips on how to write essays, exams, etc... http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~canessa/

There is a page for this course which will include specific, up-to-date , information: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~canessa/anthropo.htm

Other online resources are available from the website



Outline

Section One: Anthropology and Anthropologists 7

Week 2: Introduction. 7

Week 3: Anthropology and Anthropologists 8

Section Two: Thinking the Body 8

Week 4: Sex and Biology in European History 8

Week 5: Naturalising Concepts: The Body in the West 9

Week 6: The Virgin Birth 9

Week 7: The Seed and the Soil: Procreation and Cosmology 10

Week 8: Reading Week 11

Section Three: Marking the Body/Making the Body 11

Week 9: Maasai Women. 11

Week 10: Baptism, Circumcision and the Second Birth 12

Week 11: Female Genital Cutting – A Debate 13

Week 16: Masculinity in Crisis? 14

Section Four: Trying to make some sense 14

Week 17: Naturalising Differences 14

Week 18: Is female to male as nature is to culture? 16

Week 19: The nature/culture debate revisited 17

Section Five: Sexualities and Genders 17

Week 20: Sexual Options 17

Week 21: Reading Week 19

Week 22: Transformations of Gender in a Single-Sex Community 19

Week 23: Homosexuality 19

Section Six: Death 21

Week 24: The experience of death 21

Week 25: Death in the Andes 21

Course Reading Session by Session

Section One: Anthropology and Anthropologists

Week 2: Introduction.


Introduction to the course: sessions, essays, etc. The anthropological approach - how does it differ from sociology? The history of a tradition.
Reading
Talal Asad (ed) 1985 Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter HM 107. A7
James Clifford and George Marcus 1986 Writing Culture: the Politics of Ethnography U of Calif. Press HM107. W7
James Clifford 1988 The Predicament of Culture; Twentieth-century ethnography, literature and art. Harvard UP HM 101. C6
James Clifford 1992 ‘Travelling Cultures’ in Grossberg et.al. (eds) Cultural Studies
Nigel Barley 1983 The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut Penguin HN 814.C17
Stocking, George Jr, (ed.) (1983) ‘The Ethnographer’s Magic: Fieldwork in British Anthropology from Taylor to Malinowski’, in Stocking, George Jr. (ed.) (1983), Observers Observed: Essays on Ethnographic Fieldwork, University of Wisconsin Press, GN 320
Clifford, James ‘On Ethnographic Self-Fashioning: Conrad and Malinowski’, in The Predicament of Culture, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, HM 101. C6
Asad, Talal (ed.) (1985) Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter, London: Ithaca Press HM 107. A7
Geertz, Clifford (1973) The Interpretation of Cultures, especially part I and 5, New York: BasicBooks HM 107. G4
Kuper, Adam (1996), Anthropology and Anthropologists, London, Routledge, notably chapters 1, 4 and 8, GN 45.G7
Turner, Terence (1991) ‘Representing, resisting, rethinking: Historical Transformations of Kayapo and anthropological consciousness’, in Stocking, George, Jr. (ed.) Colonial Situations: Essays on the Contexualization of Ethnographic Knowledge, Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press
Moore, Henrietta L. (1999) Anthropological Theory Today, Cambridge: Polity Press GN 27

Week 3: Anthropology and Anthropologists


Fieldwork is the anthropologist’s most important methodological tool. In this session we look at why it is so important to anthropologists and examine some of the advantages and disadvantages. In recent years anthropologists have become more and more aware of the importance of the anthropologist in anthropological writing. How should one deal with the fact that what an anthropologist writes is so much affected by the kind of person s/he is and the particular situations s/he finds herself in?

Reading

Read two articles from:

Don Kulick and Margaret Willson (eds.) 1995 Taboo: sex, identity, and erotic subjectivity in anthropological fieldwork. London: Routledge

Diane Bell, Pat Caplan and Wazir Jahan Karim (eds) 1993 Gendered Fields: Women, Men and Ethnography Routledge.



Further reading (also see previous session)
Clifford, James (1997) Routes: Travel and Translation in the Late Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press

Marcus, George, E. (1998) Ethnography through Thick and Thin, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, GN 320

Moore, Henrietta L. (1994) A Passion for Difference: Essays in Anthropology and Gender, chapter 6 ‘Master narratives: anthropology and writing’

Newton, Esther (2000) ‘My best informant’s dress: the erotic equation in fieldwork’, in Newton, E. Margaret Mead Made Me Gay, Durham and London: Duke University Press




Section Two: Thinking the Body

Week 4: Sex and Biology in European History


The difference between sex and gender has been generally taken to be the difference between natural differences between people and the social elaboration of those natural differences. But science does not exist in a social vacuum and in this session we look at the way European cultures have looked at the “natural facts” of sex and procreation.

Reading

Thomas Laquer 1990 Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Harvard UP. HQ21. L2 Chr 2 & 7 *

L.J. Jordanova 1980 ‘Natural facts: and historical perspective on science and sexuality’ in MacCormack and Strathern (eds) Nature, Culture and Gender

Further Reading

Jacobus, M. Keller, E.F., & Shuttleworth, S (eds.) (1990) Body/Politics: women and the discourses of science, London: Routledge
Bordo, Susan (1991) Unbearable Weight: feminism, western culture, and the body, Berkeley: University of California Press
Haraway, Donna (1989) Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science, London: Verso
Martin, Emily (1992), ‘The End of the Body’, American Ethnologist Vol.16. 1 pp. 121-140

Week 5: Naturalising Concepts: The Body in the West


We continue looking at gender and the body and interrogate further the extent to which the body is ‘given’ in contemporary society. How far does culture influence or even determine how we understand simple features of the body. Why will some cultures place enormous sexual and social importance on the hymen, for example, and others not even know of its existence?
Reading
Paloma Gay-y-Blasco (1997) ‘A different body? Desire and virginity among Gitanos’ J. Roy. anthrop. Inst Vol 3 (3), pp 517-536
Emily Martin 1991 ‘The Egg and the Sperm and how Science has created a Romance based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles’ Signs Vol 16 3 pp.485-501.
Further reading
Emily Martin (1992) [1987] The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction Boston: Beacon Part 2. HQ1206.M2

Emily Martin (1992) ‘The End of the Body’ American Ethnologist Vol.16. 1 pp. 121-140

Judith Butler (1993) Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex.’. London: Routledge

Jacobus, M. Keller, E.F., & Shuttleworth, S (eds) (1990) Body/Politics: women and the discourses of science. London: Routledge


Bordo, S. (1991) Unbearable Weight: feminism, western culture, and the body. Berkeley: University of California Press
Donna Harraway 1989 Primate Visions: Gender, Race and Nature in the World of Modern Science Verso
Strathern, Andrew J. (1996) Body Thoughts, Ann Harbor: University of Michigan Press, chapters 4, 5 and 7: ‘The Becoming Body’, ‘The Threatened Body’ and ‘Embodiment’.


Week 6: The Virgin Birth


Anthropologists have long noted that some peoples seem ignorant of the paternal role in human reproduction. How might we account for this? What are the ‘facts of life’ and how far are they ‘natural’ facts? What are the differences between European ‘scientific’ understandings of procreation and those of other peoples?

Reading

Ott, Sandra, 1979 ‘Aristotle among the Basques: the ‘cheese analogy’ of conception’, Man Vol 14. No. 4.

Monica Konrad 1998, ‘Ova donation and symbols of substance: some variations on the theme of sex, gender and the partible person’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol 4 (4): 643:668

Further reading

Spiro, M., 1968. ‘Virgin Birth, parthenogenesis and physiological paternity: an essay in cultural representation’ Man


Sarah Franklin 1997 Embodied Progress: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception Chapter 1 ‘Conception among the anthropologists’, pp 17-73.
D. Kelly Weisberg (2005) The Birth of Surrogacy in Israel. University Press of Florida.
Bob Simpson 2001 ‘Making ‘bad’ deaths ‘good’: The kinships consequences of posthumous conception. Journal of the Roayal Anthropological Institute 7. pp 1-18

David McKnight 1975 ‘Men, Women, and other Animals’ in Willis, R. (ed) The Interpretation of Symbolism Malaby Press. HM197. W5


Julia Stonehouse 1994 Idols to Incubators: Reproduction Theory thorough the Ages Scarlett Press HQ1206. S7

Week 7: The Seed and the Soil: Procreation and Cosmology


In this session we look at procreation beliefs in a much wider context. What do procreation beliefs tell us about religion, cosmology, about how people think about themselves? In particular, we look at procreation as making persons as opposed to simply reproducing the species.



Reading

Delaney, C. 1986 ‘The meaning of paternity and the virgin birth debate’, in Man vol. 21. GN1.M2

Maurice Bloch 1992 ‘Birth and the Beginning of Social Life among the Zafinminary of Madagascar’ in Aijmer (ed) Coming Into Existence: Birth and Metaphors of Birth

Further reading

Diemberger, Hildegard 1993. ‘Gender relations, kinship and cosmovision among the Khumbo (N.E. Nepal)’ in Teresa del Valle (ed.) Gendered Anthropology. London: Routledge.

Rita Astuti 1993 ‘Food for Pregnancy: Procreation, Marriage and Images of gender among the Vezo of Western Madagascar’ Social Anthropology 1, 3, 277-290

Janet Carsten 1992 ‘The Process of Childbirth and becoming Related among Malays in Pulau Langkawi’ in Aijmer (ed) Coming Into Existence: Birth and Metaphors of Birth

Judy DeLoache & Alma Gottlieb 2000 Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies. Cambridge University Press

Lorrain, Claire (2000), ‘Cosmic reproduction, economics and politics among the Kulina of Southwest Amazonia’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 6:293-310

Delaney, Carol (1991) The Seed and the Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village Society, Berkeley: University of California Press

DeLoache, Judy and Gottlieb, Alma (2000) Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


Diemberger, Hildegard (1993), ‘Gender relations, kinship and cosmovision among the Khumbo (N.E. Nepal), in Del Valle, Teresa (ed.) Gendered Anthropology, London: Routledge

Wilson, Richard (1995) Maya Resurgence in Guatemala: Q’eqchi’ experiences, University of Oklahoma Press, Chapters 4 and 5

Anthropologists have long noted that some peoples seem ignorant of the paternal role in human reproduction. How might we account for this? What are the ‘facts of life’ and how far are they ‘natural’ facts? What are the differences between European ‘scientific’ understandings of procreation and those of other peoples?



Reading

Ott, Sandra, 1979 ‘Aristotle among the Basques: the ‘cheese analogy’ of conception’, Man Vol 14. No. 4.

Monica Konrad 1998, ‘Ova donation and symbols of substance: some variations on the theme of sex, gender and the partible person’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Vol 4 (4): 643:668

Further reading

Spiro, M., 1968. ‘Virgin Birth, parthenogenesis and physiological paternity: an essay in cultural representation’ Man


Sarah Franklin 1997 Embodied Progress: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception Chapter 1 ‘Conception among the anthropologists’, pp 17-73.
D. Kelly Weisberg (2005) The Birth of Surrogacy in Israel. University Press of Florida.
Bob Simpson 2001 ‘Making ‘bad’ deaths ‘good’: The kinships consequences of posthumous conception. Journal of the Roayal Anthropological Institute 7. pp 1-18

David McKnight 1975 ‘Men, Women, and other Animals’ in Willis, R. (ed) The Interpretation of Symbolism Malaby Press. HM197. W5

Julia Stonehouse 1994 Idols to Incubators: Reproduction Theory thorough the Ages Scarlett Press HQ1206. S7

Week 8: Reading Week



Section Three: Marking the Body/Making the Body

Week 9: Maasai Women.


This week we watch and discuss a film about Maasai women which looks at lives and aspirations, initiation and marriage.
Film Maasai Women by Melissa Llewellyn-Davies
Reading
Melissa Llewellyn-Davies 1981 ‘Women, Warriors and Patriarchs’ 'in Ortner and Whitehead (eds) Sexual Meanings
Further reading
Jean La Fontaine 1985 Initiation Harmondsworth GN483 Selected Chapters *
Richards, Audrey 1982 Chisungu - a girl’s initiation ceremony among the Bemba of Zambia London: Tavistock HN 800. Z2
Victor Turner The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual Cornell University Press. HN 800. Z2 Ch 4
Van Gennep 1977 The Rites of Passage London: Routledge GN483
Melissa Llewellyn-Davies 1978 ‘Two Contexts of Solidarity amongst Pastoral Maasai Women’. in P. Caplan and J. Bujra (eds.) Women United, Women Divided. London: Tavistock HQ 1154. W6

Week 10: Baptism, Circumcision and the Second Birth


Baptism is a ritual which takes place soon after birth in Christian cultures. Many other culture, too, however have similar rituals. Why should such a cultural phenomenon be so widespread. Why is the ritual language of these rituals so similar to that of birth? What are the wider implications of second birth rituals?

Reading

Jean Jackson 1996 ‘Coping with the Dilemmas of Affinity and Female Sexuality: Male Rebirth in the Central Northwest Amazon.’ In Shapiro and Linke (eds) Denying Biology GN235

Bloch and Guggenheim 1982 ‘Compadrazgo, Baptism and the Second Birth.’ Man 16(3): 376:386.

Further reading

Abigail Adams, 1993. ‘Dyke to dyke: Ritual reproduction at a US Men’s military college.’ Anthropology Today Vol 9 (5): 3-6.

Andrew Canessa 1999 ‘Making Persons, Marking Difference: Procreation in Highland Bolivia’ in Conceiving Persons: Ethnographies of Procreation, Substance and Personhood. Peter Loizos and Patrick Heady (eds.) London: Athlone Press pp.69-87

Warren Shapiro and Uli Line, 1996 Denying Biology: Essays on Gender and Pseudo-Creation. University Press of America. GN235

Brock Due, Ingrid Rudie & Tone Bleie (eds) 1993 Carved Flesh, Cast Selves: Gendered Symbols and Social Practices Berg

Maurice Bloch 1986 From Blessing to Violence: History and Ideology in the Circumcision Ritual of the Merina of Madagascar CUP HN 810. M15

Maurice Bloch 1992 ‘Birth and the beginning of social life among the Zafiminary of Madagascar’ in Goran Aijmer (ed.) Coming into Existence: Births and Metaphors of Birth*

Goran Aijmer (ed.) 1992 Coming into Existence: Births and Metaphors of Birth

Walter van Beek 1992 ‘Becoming Human in Dogon’ in Goran Aijmer (ed.) Coming into Existence: Births and Metaphors of Birth*

Judy S. DeLoache & Alma Gottlieb (eds.) 2000 A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies. Cambridge: CUP

Susan Faludi 1999 Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. New York Perennial. Pp114-121.

Sudan Faludi 1994 ‘The Naked Citadel’ New Yorker, September 5.




Week 11: Female Genital Cutting – A Debate

In many parts of the world bodies are ritually cut in initiation. Many of you will be familiar with male circumcision. Also widespread in northern and Sahelian Africa is the practice of female genital cutting. This is a highly controversial and topical issue and we will look at the practice in its local, culturally-embedded context. Is this a matter of individual human rights or whould be respect others’ cultures. What role has anthropology in this discussing this issue?

After some discussion we will have a debate: Female genital cutting is a basic infringement of universal human rights and must therefore be eradicated in all its forms.

Reading


Fuambai Ahmadu 2000 ‘Rites and Wrongs: An Insider/Outsider Reflects on Power and Excision’ In Bettina Shell-Duncan and Yla Hernlund Female "Circumcision" in Africa: Culture, Controversy & change
Dorkenoo, Efua (1994), Cutting the rose: female genital mutilation, the practice and its prevention, London: Minority Rights Group, GN484

Further reading


Locoh, T. (1998) ‘Female circumcision in Africa: some recent data’, Population, 53(6):1227-1239, HB 1.P54

.

Bettina Shell-Duncan and Yla Hernlund (eds.) (2000), Female "Circumcision" in Africa: Culture, Controversy & Change, London: Lynne Rienne Publishers, GN484


Ellen Gruenbaum 2001 The female circumcision controversy : an anthropological perspective Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press GN 484.G7
Talle, Aud (1993) ‘Transforming Women into ‘Pure’ Agnates: Aspects of Female Infibulation in Somalia’ in Due, Rudie & Bleie (eds.) Carved Flesh, Cast Selves: Gendered Symbols and Social Practices, Oxford and Providence: Berg HQ 21.C2
McLean, Scilla (ed.) (1980) Female circumcision, excision and infibulation: the facts and proposals for change, London: Minority Rights Group, GN484
James, Stanlie M. and Robertson, Claire C. (eds.) (2002), Genital Cutting and Transnational Sisterhood: disputing U.S. polemics, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press GN 484.G4
Walker, Alice (1992) Possessing the Secret of Joy, London: Cape, PS3573.A54
Sheehan, Elisabeth A. (1997) ‘Victorian Clitoridectomy: Isaac Baker Brown and His Harmless Operative Procedure’, in di Leonardo, Micaela and Lancaster, R. N. (eds.) The Gender/Sexuality Reader, London: Routledge, HQ 21.G4
Rahman, A. And Toubia, N. (2000) Female genital Mutilation: A Guide to Laws and Policies Worldwide. London and New York: Zed Books.
C. J. Walley. 1997. Searching for Voices: Feminism, Anthropology, and the Global Debate over Female Genital Operations. Cultural Anthropology 12, vol. 3, pp. 405-438.
Janice Boddy 1982 ‘Womb as Oasis: The symbolic context of Pharaonic circumscision in rural Northern Sudan.’ American Ethnologist 9:4 pp 682-98
Skain, R (2005) Female Genital Mutilation: Legal, cultural and medical issues GN 484.S5

On male circumcision:

David Gollaher (2000) Circumcision. Basic Books

Carole Delaney (2002) The Trials of Abraham

Suzettte Heald (1999) Manhood and Morality: Sex, violence and ritual in Gisu Society. Routledge



Week 16: Masculinity in Crisis?


Much has been writeen in recent years of the crisis of masculinity in the post-industrial west. How recent and how western is this phenomenon really? Have men always been anxious about their position and, if so, why would they be given their generally dominant status in every culture known to anthropologists?
Reading

Stanley Brandes ‘Like Wounded Stags: Male sexual ideology in an Andalusian town’ in Ortner and Whitehead (eds) Sexual Meanings, op cit.


Peter Wade (1994) ‘Man the Hunter’ in Harvey and Gow (eds) Sex and Violence HQ23

Further reading

Donald Tuzin 1997 The Cassowary's revenge : the life and death of masculinity in a New Guinea society Chicago: Chicago University Press HN 936.N431
Andrea Cornwal and Nancy Lindisfarne (eds) Dislocating Masculinity: Comparative Ethnographies HQ1067
Robert Bly 1990 Iron John: A Book about Men HQ 1067
Gil Herdt 1981 Guardians of the Flutes:Idioms of Masculinity New York: McGraw Hill. HN 936. N431
Gil Herdt 1987 The Sambia: Ritual and Gender in New Guinea New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston HN 936. N431
Matthew Gutmann 1996. The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Maurice Bloch 1992 Prey into Hunter Cambridge University Press BL 570

Herzfeld, Michael 1985 The Poetics of Manhood: Contest and Identity in a Cretan Mountain Village

Eduardo Archetti 1997 ‘Multiple masculinities: the world of tango and foodball in Argentina.’ IN Balderston, Daniel and Donna J. Guy (eds) Sex and Sexuality in Latin America New York: New York University Press


Susan Faludi 1999 Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. New York: Harper Collins.
Abigail Adams, 1993. ‘Dyke to dyke: Ritual reproduction at a US Men’s military college.’ Anthropology Today Vol 9 (5): 3-6.
Suzettte Heald (1999) Manhood and Morality: Sex, violence and ritual in Gisu Society. Routledge

Section Four: Trying to make some sense

Week 17: Naturalising Differences

What are the differences between men and women and what difference to these differences make? In this session we look at some anthropologicalaccounts of how genders differ and also examine some of the scientific accounts of gender difference.


Reading
Ladislav Holy (1985) 'Fire, Meat and Children: the Berti Myth, Male Dominance and Female Power' in Joanna Overing (ed) Reason and Morality ASA Monographs No. 24 Tavistock *
Anonymous The Bible Genesis I-III
Further reading
Nancy Scheper-Hughes 1992 Death Without Weeping University of California Press HN 290. N6Chapter 8 “(M)other Love ”
Gillison, Gillian 1980 ‘Images of nature in Gimi thought’ in MacCormack, C. and Strathern, M. (eds.) Nature, Culture and Gender HM108

Leslee Nadelson (1981) Pigs, women and the men's houses in Amazonia: an analysis of six Mundurucú myths 'in Ortner and Whitehead (eds) Sexual Meanings HQ21 S4

Joan Bamberger 1974 'The Myth of Matriarchy: Why Men rule in Primitive Society' in Rosaldo and Lamphere (eds) Women, Culture and Society

MacCormack, Carol and Strathern Marilyn (eds) (1980) Nature, Culture and Gender Cambridge: CUP HM108

Peggy Reeves Sanday and Ruth Goodenough (eds) (1990) Beyond the Second Sex: New Directions in the

Anthropology of Gender Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press HQ1206 B4
Judith Butler (1993) Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex.’. London: Routledge HQ1206 B8

Jacobus, M. Keller, E.F., & Shuttleworth, S (eds) (1990) Body/Politics: women and the discourses of science. London: Routledge Q175 B6

Andrew Latas (1989) ‘Trickery and sacrifice: tambarans and the appropriation of femal reproductive powers in male initiation ceremonies in West New Britain. Man 24(3): 451-469

Teresa del Valle (1993) Gendered Anthropology London: Routledge HQ 21.G4


Week 18: Is female to male as nature is to culture?


Why do people around the world distinguish themselves in terms of male and female? How rooted are these distinctions in the natural difference of sex? In this introductory session we look at a number of themes that run through the course and provide a background to current debates. In particular we will look at Sherry Ortner’s thesis that the roots of women’ subordination lie in the cross-cultural fact that woman are seen as being closer to nature than men.
Reading
Sherry Ortner 1974 ‘Is female to male as nature is to culture?’ in Rosaldo and Lamphere (eds) Women, Culture and

Society 67-88. Stanford: Stanford University Press *
There is just one reading for this Session but it is a very important article and it is worth taking one’s time over.
Further reading.

Philippe Descola 1994 In the Society of Nature Cambridge: CUP F 3430.1.A25


Henrietta Moore (1994) A Passion for Difference Cambridge: Polity HQ 1206.M6
Henrietta Moore (1988) Feminism and Anthropology Cambridge: Polity HQ 1121
Harvey and Gow (eds) (1994) Sex and Violence: Issues in Representation and Experience London: Routledge HQ23
Teresa del Valle (1993) Gendered Anthropology London: Routledge HQ 21.G4
MacCormack, Carol and Strathern Marilyn (eds) (1980) Nature, Culture and Gender Cambridge: CUP HM108

Peggy Reeves Sanday 1981 Female Power and Male Dominance: On the Origins of Sexual Inequality Cambridge: CUP HQ 1206. S2


Nancy Scheper-Hughes 1992 Death Without Weeping University of California Press HN 290. N6 Chapter 8 “(M)other Love ”*
Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex PQ 2603. E35
Pat Caplan (ed) The Cultural Construction of Sexuality HQ 21.C8
Margaret Mead 1963 Sex and Temperament in Three primitive Societies HN 936. N431 SL
Alma Gottlieb 1990 ‘Rethinking female pollution’, in Peggy Reeves Sanday and Ruth Goodenough (eds) Beyond the Second Sex

Week 19: The nature/culture debate revisited


Here we revisit Ortner’s thesis and look at a number of writers who disagree. How powerful and persuasive are these critiques? Can a modified version of Ortner’s hypothesis still be useful?


Reading

Olivia Harris 1980 ‘The Power of Signs: Gender, Culture and the Wild in the Bolivian Andes’ in MacCormack, C.

and Strathern, M. (eds.) Nature, Culture and Gender *
Gillison, Gillian 1980 ‘Images of nature in Gimi thought’ in MacCormack, C. and Strathern, M. (eds.) Nature, Culture and Gender *

Further reading

Sherry Ortner (1996) ‘So, is female to male as nature is to culture’ in Sherry Ortner Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture Boston: Beacon Press.

Jane Atkinson 1990 ‘ How gender makes a difference in Wana society’, in Jane Atkinson and Shelly Errington (eds) Power and Difference: Gender in Island South East Asia. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Anna Tsing 1990 ‘ Gender and performance in Meratus dispute settlement’ in Atkinson and Errington, op. cit.

Philippe Descola and Gísli Pálson 1996. Nature and Society: Anthropological Perspectives. London: Routledge.

Section Five: Sexualities and Genders

Week 20: Sexual Options

Gender difference is often assumed to be a function of sexual identity but how stable is sexual identity? If sexual identity is processual and mutable, what does this say about gender identity? Is it possible to talk of more than two genders?Compare Wikan’s article with Whitehead’s. What are the similarities between the berdache and the xanith? What are the differences? To what extent could they be described as comparable examples of transgenderism?



Reading

Wikan, Uni ‘Man becomes woman: transsexualism in Oman as a key to gender roles’ Man 12 (2) pp. 304-319

Whitehead, Harriet 1981 ‘The bow and the burden-strap: a new look at institutionalised homosexuality in native North America’ in Ortner and Whitehead (eds.) Sexual Meanings

Further Reading

Pat Califia 1994 Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex Pittsburgh: Cleis Press HQ 23

Gilmore, D.G. 1990 Manhood in the Making: Cultural Concepts of Masculinity HQ 1067

Gilbert Herdt 1981 Guardians of the Flute: Idioms of Masculinity HN 936.N431

Peter Beattie 1997 ‘Conflicting Penile Codes: Modern Masculinity and Sodomy in the Brazilian Military, 1860-1916’ in Sex and Sexuality in Latin America edited by Balderston, Daniel and Donna J. Guy. HQ18. L2

Michel Foucault 1976 The History of Sexuality vol 1. Penguin.


Richard Parker, 1985. ‘Masculinity, femininity and homosexuality: on the anthropological interpretation of sexual meanings in Brazil.’ Journal of Homosexuality 11 pp.115-63
Edward Schieffelin (1982) ‘The bau a ceremonial hunting lodge: An alternative to initiation.’ in

Herdt (ed) Rituals of Manhood University of California Press HN936.N431


Paul Veyne (1987) ‘Homosexuality in Ancient Rome’ in Western Sexuality Philippe Ariès and André Bejin (eds) Oxford: Basil Blackwell. HQ 12
Kenneth Dover (1978) Greek Homosexuality Harvard University Press. HQ 76.D6
Siobhan Somerville (1997) ‘Scientific racism and the invention of the homosexual body’ in di Leonardo, Micaela and Roger Lancaaster (eds) The Gender/Sexuality Reader. London: Routledge HQ21.G4
Sue-Ellen Jacobs and Jason Cromwell 1992 ‘ Visions and revisions of reality: reflections on sex, sexuality, gender and gender variance’, Journal of Homosexuality 23(4): 43-69.

Roscoe, W. (1998) Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America, New York: St. Martin's Press, especially PART 1

Goulet, Jean-Guy A. (1996) ‘The “berdache/”two-spirit”; a comparison of anthropological and native constructions of gendered identities among the northern Athapaskans, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2:683-701

Herdt, G. (1994) (ed.) Third Sex Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History, New York: Zone Books

Halperin, David (1990) One hundred years of homosexuality, New York: Routledge, notably chapter 1 and chapter 2, ‘”Homosexuality”: a cultural construct’

Epple, Carolyn (1998) ‘Coming to terms with Navajo nádleehí: a critique of berdache, “gay”, “alternate gender”, and “two-spirit”’, American Ethnologist, 25(2):267-290


Kulick, Don (1998) Travesti: Sex, Gender and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes, especially chapters 1 and 5, ‘Introduction’ and ‘Travesti Gendered Subjectivity’

Del LaGrace Vulcano and Judith ‘Jack’ Halberstam, 1999, The Drag King Book, London: Serpent TailBooks

Brummelhuis, Han Ten (1999) ‘Transformations of Transgender: the case of the Thai Kathoey’, in Jackson, Peter A. and Sullivan, G. (eds.) (1999), Lady Boys, Tom Boys, Rent Boys: Male and Female Homosexualities in Contemporary Thailand, op. cit.

Prieur, Annick (1998) Mema’s House, Mexico City: On Transvestitism, Queens and Machos, University of Chicago Press

Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia, E. Wieringa (eds.) 1999 Female Desires: same-sex relations and transgender practices across cultures, New York: Columbia University Press, especially PART III, ‘Doing Masculinity: Butches, Female Bodies, and Transgender Identities’
Halberstam, Judith 1998, Female Masculinity, Duke University Press, Chapter 5, “Transgender Butch: Butch/FTM Border Wars and the Masculine Continuum”

Lancaster, Roger N. (1997) ‘Guto’s performance: notes on the transvestitism of everyday life’, in di Leonardo, Micaela and Lancaster, R. N. (eds.) The Gender/Sexuality Reader, London: Routledge, HQ 21.G4


Califia-Rice, Patrick (2000) ‘Family values: Two dads with a difference’, Village Voice, June 2000, Available online: http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0025/califia-rice.php


Week 21: Reading Week

Week 22: Transformations of Gender in a Single-Sex Community


‘Homosexuality’ has been widely reported in single-sex communities. Here we look at a couple of examples and ask why these forms of homosexuality are so heavily gendered in themselves. What does this tell us about homosexuality and heterosexuality and the nature of desire itself?

Reading:

Patrick Harries ‘Symbols and Sexuality: Culture and Identity on the Early Witwatersrand Gold Mines’ Gender and History vol. 2. No. 3 Autumn 1990

Giallombardo, R. 1966 Society of Women HV 8738

Further Reading: See previous sessions’ readings


Week 23: Homosexuality


What does homosexuality tell us about gender roles and identity? Is there such a thing as homosexuality cross-culturally or are we confusing different social phenomena by placing them under the same rubric? If there is a homosexual gene, what would it do?

Debate: Be prepared to debate the question ‘There is no such thing as ‘homosexuality’ which can be identified across cultures.’ Think of the arguments for and against this position.

Reading
Herdt, Gilbert 1984 Ritualised Homosexuality in Melanesia Berkeley: University of California Press HN 936.N431

Shepherd, Gillian 1987 ‘Rank, gender and homosexuality: Mombassa as a key to understanding sexual options’ in Pat Caplan (ed.) The Cultural Construction of Sexuality London: Tavistock HQ 21.C8

Further reading see also previous weeks’ readings

Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia, E. Wieringa (eds.) (1999) Female Desires: same-sex relations and transgender practices across cultures, New York: Columbia University Press


Zavella, Patricia (1997) ‘Playing with fire: the gendered construction of Chicana/Mexicana sexuality’, in di Leonardo, Micaela and Lancaster, R. N. (eds.) The Gender/Sexuality Reader, London: Routledge, HQ 21.G4
Sullivan, G and hPeter A. Jackson (eds.) (2001) Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community, Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, notably chapter 1, Jackson, Peter A. ‘Pre-gay, post-queer: Thai perspectives on proliferating gender/sex diversity in Asia’
Blackwood, Evelyn (1999), ‘Tombois in West Sumatra: Constructing Masculinity and Erotic Desire’, in Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia, E. Wieringa (eds.) (1999) Female Desires: same-sex relations and transgender practices across cultures, New York: Columbia University Press
Film Shinjuku Boys by Kim Longinottto

Section Six: Death

Week 24: The experience of death


How do we experience death and how does death affect the living?

Reading

Nancy Scheper Hughes Death without Weeping: the Violence of everyday Life in Brazil. U. of California Press Chapters 7 and 8. HN290.N6

Renato Rosaldo 1989 ‘Introduction: Grief and a Headhunter’s rage’ in Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis. London : Routledge. HM101.R6

Further reading

Deema Kaneff (2002) ‘Why people don’t die ‘naturally’ anymore: Changing relations between ‘the individual’ and ‘the state’ in post-socialist Bulgaria. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 8, 89-105.


Bob Simpson 2001 ‘Making ‘bad’ deaths ‘good’: The kinships consequences of posthumous conception. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 7. pp 1-18

Nigel Barley 1995 Dancing on the Grave: Encounters with Death London: John Murray HM293

Danforth 1982 Death Rituals in Rural Greece Princeton University Press GT3251

Rui Feijo, Herminio Martins & João de Piña Cabral 1983 Death in Portugal Oxford: JASO HM 293

Maurice Bloch 1971 Placing the Dead London: Seminar Press GN661.M2
James Crissman 1994 Death and Dying in Central Appalachia University of Illinois Press GT 3206
Philippe Descola 1996 The spears of twilight : life and death in the Amazon jungle F 3430.1.A25
Jessica Mitford 1998 The American Wasy of Death New York: Simon and Schuster HD 9999. F8

Week 25: Death in the Andes


What relationship do the living have with the dead in the Andes? How do people depend on the spirits and vice versa? How is this attitude towards the dead different or similar to what you are used to?

Reading

Olivia Harris 1982 ‘The dead and the devils among the Bolivian Laymi’ in Bloch and Parry (eds) Death and the Regeneration of Life. CUP HM293 (3-day)

Peter Gose 1994 Deathly Waters and Hungry Mountains. University of Toronto Press

Further Reading (see also above)

Billie-Jean Isbell 1978 To Defend Ourselves: Ecology and Ritual in an Andean Village F2230.2.K4

Michael Sallnow 1987 Pilgrims of the Andes Smithsonian University Press BL 2590.P4

Catherine Allen 1988 The Hold Life Has F2230.2.K4



Week 30: Death and the Regeneration of Life
What is the social meaning of death, that is, what does it mean for society as a whole? What does death have to do with human life and social life?
Reading

Maurice Bloch 1982 ‘Death, women, and power’ in Bloch and Parry (eds) Death and the Regeneration of Life. CUP HM293 (3-day)


Maurice Bloch and Jonathan Parry 1982 ‘Introduction’ in Bloch and Parry (eds) Death and the Regeneration of Life. CUP HM293 (3-day)

Further reading See previous sessions.

Peter Metcalf 1991 Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual CUP GT 3150



E. Venbrux 1995 A Death in the Tiwi Islands: Conflict, Ritual and Social Life in an Australian Aborigine Community. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



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