Anthropology | Women in Civilization
P600 | 26203 | Pyburn

Meets 1st 8 weeks only

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
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)