Browsing All posts tagged under »biology«

Approaching sex through archaeology: becoming male and female

May 6, 2010

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]