P600 | 0448 | Pyburn

This is a class about the role of women in ancient civilizations, as it
can be understood from archaeological data. In order to begin to
understand the lives of ancient women, it will first be necessary to
evaluate what we know about gender in the present day and see how this
knowledge applies or does not apply to the past. We will begin with some
general readings on how archaeologists approach gender and what kinds of
data are available for reconstructing ancient lives. Then we will consider
how the history of interaction between different cultures has impacted the
role of women in the modern world as well as what we believe about the
past. Then we will use this perspective to investigate the literature on
women's roles in several early civilizations; first a
set of cultures already researched and then a set researched by class

The goals of this class are a bit complicated, but they make the class
fun. The first thing we will do is consider the sources of the ideas you
have about gender and then introduce you to some unfamiliar information.
I will use lectures and discussions to help you process this information
for yourself, so you can decide whether your original perspective needs
modification. As we go through the class, you will become more expert at
analyzing new information, so that by the end of the class you will be
able to construct a sophisticated critique of a current textbook.

Required Books:

Europe and the People Without History by Eric Wolf
Ungendering Civilization
There will be other readings available at the Geography Library.


Group Assignments
(mostly in-class presentations, but including one written essay) 50%
(80% of this will come from my grades of your work in class and 20%
will come from your evaluations of each other)
Final Paper
(Also a group effort)  50% (90% will come from my grade of the paper
and 10% will come from your evaluations of each other)