English R1B

Reading and Composition: Gender and Culture: Psychological and Literary Perspectives on Social Hierarchy

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
14 Spring 2018 Carr, Jessica
MWF 12-1 2032 Valley LSB

Book List

Abu-Lughod, Lila: Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society; Bâ, Mariama: So Long a Letter; al-Shaykh, Hanan: Women of Sand and Myrrh

Other Readings and Media

Reader: excerpts from Anzaldúa, Gloria: Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza; Nussbaum, Martha: Women and Human Development; Nussbaum, Martha: Sex and Social Justice; Okin, Susan: Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? Several psychological research papers will also be included: Wainryb and Turiel, "Dominance, Subordination, and Concepts of Personal Entitlements in Cultural Contexts"; and Menon and Shweder, "The Return of the 'White Man's Burden': The Encounter Between the Moral Discourse of Anthropology and the Domestic Life of Oriya Women."


The anthropologists Rosaldo, Lamphere, and Bamberger note, "all contemporary societies are to some extent male-dominated, and ... sexual asymmetry is presently a universal fact of human social life" (Woman, Culture, and Society)On the basis of gender, many, if not all, human societies are organized, and this organization, both historically and contemporaneously, posits the dominance of men. In cultures that adhere to more rigidly hierarchical gender norms, women and men live lives of vastly different treatment, opportunity, and rights. In such social environments, how do women reason about and articulate their perceptions of this constructed difference? How do women both accommodate to and resist conditions of inequality and constraint? The course will look at a range of works which consider women's perspectives on gendered social status, as revealed both through psychological and ethnographic research and through literary works. We will read texts by and about women living in cultural contexts ranging from Bedouin and Druze communities in the MIddle East to settings in West Africa, India, and the Mexican/American borderlands.

The purpose of an R1B course is to further the college-level critical reading and writing skills learned in R1A, as well as to develop new abilities to select, interpret, and incorporate secondary sources in an academic research paper. In conjunction with learning to write such a paper, we will focus on formulating incisive research questions and building logical, comprehensive, and targeted arguments. There will be several papers assigned throughout the course, culminating in a final ten-page research paper. In support of these writing projects, there will be many opportunities to revise work through multiple drafts and both instructor and peer reviews. The goal of the course is to advance your ability to construct and articulate confident academic arguments!

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