ANT 391 • Gender and Masculinities in the Middle East
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
The subject matter of this graduate seminar is the analysis of gender and masculinities in the Middle East. While the methodological focus of the class will be an anthropological one, we will also explore the concepts of sexuality, power, and desire in Arab, Iranian, and Israeli culture through critical readings in history, sociology, journalism, and literature, as well as through feature films and documentaries. While the course does not provide an inclusive overview over the extensive literature on the subject of gender and masculinities, it attempts at communicating important theoretical concepts and understandings that are at the forefront of current debates within the social sciences. This includes the close reading of recently published ethnographies on Arab societies, but also historical works on pre-modern homoeroticism, as well as novels written during the past ten years on the subject of sexuality, authority, and violence in the region. Next to examining some of the major theoretical discussions in anthropology and gender/queer studies, the seminar will consider critically how the issues raised in class can be contextualized in terms of differing understandings of what constitutes gender and gender identities in the contemporary world.