Anthropology 303: Religion and Gender in Global Context

Credits 4

This course examines issues of gender and religion as they intersect with global political discourses about women’s rights and competing definitions of agency. The study of global religions have been transformed in important ways by encounters with postcolonial and feminist scholarship; similarly, the persistent interest in religious forms of life have shaped how scholars think about gender, sexuality, and feminism in transnational contexts. In this course, we will explore how these dialogues between feminism, postcolonial studies, and religious studies may inform and transform our understandings of categories like “women” and “religion.” Questions explored will include: why have women’s bodies and forms of religious dress become charged sites of these negotiations? What assumptions concerning moral agency, freedom, and public/private space invest these sites with meaning in the first place? Why does the sensibility of being modern and politically progressive depend so heavily on particular representations of the appropriate roles and behaviors of women and religion? May be elected as Religion 303. May be taken for credit towards the Gender Studies major or minor. Recommended prerequisite: one course in Anthropology, Religion, or Gender Studies.