WGSS 262 Spring 2015 Language, Gender, and Sexuality

Cross Listed as ANTH262
Social scientists have long argued that gendered identities are "voiced" or performed. This insight draws our attention to the tremendous role that language and spoken interaction play in the reproduction and transformation of gendered relations and systems of sexuality. This class analyzes gendered and sexual difference through the lens of language and communicative practice. On one hand, we use the tools of linguistic anthropology to ask about how systems of gender and sexuality are reproduced through everyday interactions. On the other hand, we examine how interactive norms regarding gender and sexuality then shape political, economic, and social processes beyond face-to-face interactions. In doing so, we will read a range of ethnographic material, both from the US and beyond, that examines how gender shapes interactions, whether in the context of a basketball game, a medical training course, a courtroom, a religious revival movement, or an international crisis. We will put this material in critical conversation with theorists of gender and sexuality who have argued for the interactive, discursive nature of these categories, such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, asking what linguistic anthropology, in particular, can tell us about the connections between language, gender, and sexuality.
Class Format: lecture
Requirements/Evaluation: 1-page response papers (5 total, graded pass/fail); mid-term essay exam (5-7 pages); final essay exam (5-7 pages)
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Prerequisites: none; open to first year students
Enrollment Preference: Anth/Soc majors; WGSS majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
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Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 4040
WGSS 262 - 01 (S) LEC Language Gender Sexuality Division 2: Social Studies Julia L. Kowalski
TF 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Hollander 240 4040
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