Professor Richard Wilk

FALL 2006

GNDR 701 / GNDR 498 / CS 701

Tuesday-Thursday 4:00-5:15 PM, Student Building 138

Professor Wilk’s Contact Information


Email: wilkr

Office: Student Building 242

Phone: 855-3901

Office hours: 10 AM -1 PM Tuesdays, or by appointment


Course Description


Violence, strong drink, prostitution, and extreme loyalty to your gang or crew. Sound familiar? It should be, since this is the pattern of male life we have seen in a hundred cowboy movies. But the same kind of extreme masculine culture can be found all over the world in different forms, throughout history. What do cultures of extreme masculinity have in common? Why does the same kind of masculinity develop in so many different cultures?


This course is an exploratory and experimental seminar based on a research hypothesis. As a class we will explore many different case studies of extreme masculinity in different times and places, with the aim of testing and improving the starting hypothesis.


In other words, this class will be different from almost every other educational experience you have ever had. It will require you to be an active participant, willing to question what you read and challenge your assumptions. We will be finding our own answers. You should never hesitate to ask questions, challenge the professor and each other.


Course Requirements


The main requirement of this course is that you remain active and involved by keeping up with the readings and playing an energetic part in the discussions. If you are not used to speaking up in class, come in and talk to me early in the semester. You can count on being asked regularly to work in groups both in and out of class, summarizing readings and presenting critiques and commentary. This means you should count on coming to every single class; I will take regular note of who is missing classes, and this will affect your grade.


This class includes both graduate and undergraduate students. I will expect the graduate students to be generous and considerate of undergrads in discussions. I also expect undergraduates to ask questions and slow things down if they feel the discussion is going over their heads. Of course I have different expectations of grads and undergrads, and in general I expect more depth and sophistication from graduate students’ reading and writing.




There will be in-class midterm and final exams. Questions for each will be handed out in advance, but you will not be allowed to bring notes. Graduate students will have different questions from undergrads.


You will also write a final paper based on your own original research about a particular group who exhibit a form of extreme masculinity. Before you can start on this paper, you will have to submit a research proposal which will be peer-reviewed by other students. Each student therefore should expect to write at least two one-to-two page peer reviews of other student paper proposals. Undergrads write 12-15 pages, grad papers should run 18-20 pages.


Expect to turn in all work on time. I will subtract 5% of your assignment grade for each day it is late. Your final exam will be based on the following proportions:


Midterm: 20 %, Final 30%, Paper 35%, Class participation including peer reviews: 15%


Required Reading


A selection of papers and articles will be available online on the Geography Library website at http://ereserves.indiana.edu/eres/courseindex.aspx?error=&page=instr under my name.


At the IU bookstores and TIS you will find the following required textbooks:


Tall Trees, Tough Men, Robert E. Pike, 1984, WW Norton, ISBN 0393301850

Masculinities and Culture, John Beynon, 2002, Open University Press, 0335199887

Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, Elijah Anderson, 2000, WW Norton, 0393320782 2000

What it Means to Be a Man, Rafael Ramirez, 1999, Rutgers UP, 0813526612

On the Corner, Gary Brana-Shute, 1979, Waveland, 0881334685  (Xerox copy)

Football Hooligans, Gary Armstrong, 1998, Berg, 1859739571

Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography, 1954, DeCapo, 0306802325

Working on the Edge, Spike Walker, 1991, St. Martins Griffin, 0312089244

Cowboys Of The Americas, Richard Slatta, 1994, Yale, 0300056710 (you will have to order this immediately from Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com








Aug. 29

Aug. 31 – film

Sept. 5

Sept. 7

Sept. 12

Sept. 14

Sept. 19

Sept. 21

Sept. 26

Sept. 28 - film

Oct. 3

Oct. 5 – midterm exam handout

Oct. 10 – paper proposal due

Oct. 12 – Midterm Exam

Oct. 17

Oct. 19

Oct. 24 - peer reviews due

Oct. 26

Oct. 31

Nov. 2 - film

Nov. 7

Nov. 9

Nov. 14

Nov. 16 – no class

Nov. 21 - ThanksGiving

Nov. 23 - ThanksGiving

Nov. 28

Nov. 30

Dec. 5 – final exam handout

Dec. 7

Exam - 5:00 - 7:00 p.m Dec. 12



Disclaimers, stylistic guidelines, legal advisories, etc


You are responsible for keeping up with the readings and for attending class regularly. Late assignments will be accepted, but grades will be reduced. Incompletes are only given with good reason, and if I am notified two weeks before the final exam date. You are not allowed to copyright any of my class handouts or other materials, nor can you publish them or use them in public presentations without my permission.


You are encouraged to discuss with classmates and colleagues, and to collaborate in studying, reading, digesting, and synthesizing class materials. I encourage you to form study groups and/or reading discussion circles. BUT, all written work you turn in must be your own individual work, unless you make arrangements with me in advance for a co-authorship. Co-authored work which is assigned gets one grade which is shared by all authors.


Plagiarism is a serious breach of academic ethics. Use full footnotes and references for all quoted or attributed materials. Since we may be publishing class work on the web, we need to pay careful attention to copyright restrictions on fair use. We also need to use a uniform style for text and references:


*      American Anthropologist reference and bibliography style is required for all class materials. This means in-line citations. Check out a recent issue.

*      All materials should be in Times New Roman font, 12 point type with 1-inch margins all around.

*      Any files submitted must be in either Microsoft Word or WordPerfect Windows or DOS formats, or in HTML. Turn off all hyphenation. Try to use as little italic and bold or underline style as possible, and avoid table formats unless required. Spell check and virus check everything.


I am always available for consultation and discussion in my office. Please don't wait until the last minute to discuss problems, readings, or issues with me! I am always very busy, but I will always make time to talk about something.


Email is often the best way to ask me brief questions, to check on assignments, or make short comments. If you miss class, contact me by email to find out if you have been assigned some discussion for the next week. Assignments and other course materials will be published on the Oncourse site for this class. You will be responsible for checking Oncourse regularly for bulletins and emails from me. Its best to set oncourse so it forwards all email directly to your regular email account.