Professor Charlene Makley
Office: 312 Vollum
Phone: 771-1112, ext. 7461
Office Hours:
T 3:15-4:45 (outdoors or Zoom), TH 4:30-6:00 pm (Zoom)

What are the differences between the concepts of sex, gender and sexuality? And why is this important in today's world? This course introduces students to an anthropological perspective on the relationships among sex, the biological attributes by which a person is deemed "male" or "female", gender, the norms, ideals and practices defining what it means to become "men," "women" or non-binary persons, and sexuality, ideas and practices related to erotic desire and sexual reproduction. In order to understand the various debates and their stakes, we will read anthropological accounts of communities in which sex, gender and sexuality are construed very differently from our own, and combine these with discussions of documentary and popular movies and video clips. The course will provide students with ways to understand how we come to consider and express ourselves as "men", "women", or someone other to those categories, the social, political economic, and cultural processes that shape us to act and think as particular kinds of sexed, gendered, and sexualized persons, including the complexities and dilemmas posed by intersecting subjectivities and oppressions (e.g, race, class, ethnicity, religion), and the potential consequences for not conforming to those norms. Prerequisites: Anthropology 211.  Conference. Prerequisites: Anthropology 211. Conference.

Learning Outcomes
After taking this course, students should be able to:

  • Grasp and describe the basic premises of contemporary feminist and queer anthropology.
  • Define "sex," "gender" and "sexuality" as different, historically contested, yet linked concepts, in relation to other key concepts of social difference like "race," and "class".
  • Understand the nature, history and stakes of anthropological debates about sex, gender and sexuality in relation to debates outside the discipline.
  • Apply feminist and queer anthropological theories and methods to their own writing and media projects.
  • Gain a basic understanding of the importance of multimodal ethnographic engagement and media creation.

Distribution Requirements:
This course can be used to fulfill one of your Group II "History and Social Science" distribution requirements. It accomplishes the following learning outcomes for the group:

  • Evaluate data and/or sources
  • Analyze institutions, formations, languages, structures, or processes, whether social, political, religious, economic, cultural, intellectual or other
  • Think in sophisticated ways about causation, social and/or historical change, human cognition, or the relationship between individuals and society, or engage with social, political, religious or economic theory in other areas.