Browsing All posts tagged under »biology«

Approaching sex through archaeology: becoming male and female

May 6, 2010


When you move away from the idea that sex/gender is an inherent essence, something predefined at (or even before) birth, towards a performative, iterative, idea of sex/gender as something that you do, an ongoing process of acting in a particular way, the conversation shifts from “being” to “becoming”. Because the act of becoming, performing, enacting, […]

Approaching sex through archaeology: methods and theories

May 4, 2010


My Discovery course at Berkeley, “Archaeology of Sex and Gender”, is taught over a 15 week semester. The first two sections of the course, “Thinking about sex and gender: disciplinary approaches” and “Sex and gender in the past: regional traditions” can stand alone as a one-quarter course at colleges that use the quarter system. Together, […]

European bodies

April 28, 2010


I use Thomas Laqueuer’s Making Sex to frame my discussion of the European tradition of thinking about sex. While I only require two chapters, I make reference to others in my own lectures. By asking students to consider how external genitalia could be understand as evidence for one sex at one point in history, and […]

Thinking about sex and gender: exploring disciplinary approaches

April 26, 2010


Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives emerged from an interdisciplinary course, and that meant that I needed to establish from the beginning how different disciplinary approaches worked. I wanted to discriminate between documentary histories and histories based on other kinds of material traces, created in the past and examined in the present. Within anthropology, I wanted to […]

But isn’t biology normally dual?

April 25, 2010


One of the questions students raise at the beginning of this course, confronted with the work of Anne Fausto Sterling and Thomas Laqueur, is about biological sex: yes, they can see that things like musculature, hair length, even height don’t fall neatly into two groups; but isn’t it true that normal sexual biology consists of […]