Questions of empire are fundamentally intertwined with questions of gender. This course will focus on the imperial and intercultural contact zones of the Mediterranean—at once connecting and dividing Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa—from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century. With an interest both in men’s and women’s experiences and in representations of masculinity and femininity, our inquiry will also straddle the divide between colonizer and colonized. Readings will include both primary and secondary sources, ranging from images, novels, and films to memoirs, testimonials, and government documents, and from Edward Said and Frantz Fanon to Assia Djebar and Tahar Ben Jelloun. Students will learn to assess how modern imperial encounters were mediated by gendered logics of power; how these overlapped with dynamics of race, class, and nation; and how the Mediterranean region itself gave rise to different understandings of gender and empire.
This course considers the relationship between feminism (as activist realm, as theoretical field, in its institutionalized form as gender studies) and anthropology. We will begin with early ethnographic writing by women and about women, and analyze some of the interventions feminists hope to make in anthropology. We will then examine the relationship between feminism and anthropology through two topics: kinship and politics. Our course will consider how feminist anthropologists have connected the study of kinship, culture and nature, and carved out a place for the anthropological study of gender relations. In our study of kinship, the politics of reproduction and of labor will be important issues, such as the question of who gets to be related to whom, and whose work counts as what. In our study of politics, we will look at specific feminist statements and consider their impact on, and relationship with, the field of anthropology. Finally, our course will investigate more recent work on nature and biology, as well as (queer) gender and sexuality, in order to speculate on the futures and potentials of feminist anthropologies.
This semester, Spring 2019, the seminar will examine theories and practices of feminism in Japan and elsewhere. In particular, we will study several forms of “radical feminism,” including women’s liberation movement or ribu in early 1970s Japan. We will explore “radicality” in feminism, articulated against the grain of discourses on women’s rights and equality. Topics treated in the course include, radical feminism and the New Left, feminist genealogies, feminism and violence, the politics of feminist manifestos, feminism and futurity, and the feminist politics of organization. Some of the reading materials are in Japanese.
Gender affects multiple aspects of international development, including the challenges that communities face around the world, and how organizations and governments can most effectively support these communities to achieve their goals. This course covers gender theory and frameworks, drawing from feminist writers and scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. We will study gender as it relates to specific topics, including labor market participation and employment, education, violence against women and girls, peace building, civil society, and women’s leadership. We will learn what is known in each arena, and study which approaches work well and which do not. This course is intended to be an introduction to gender in international development; students with extensive experience in this area should consult with the instructor if interested.