This course will explore ancient and modern constructions of gender and how that impacts an understanding of sacred texts, not only in questions of translation and gender performance but in the pressing need for safe inclusive spaces. Trans and intersex people have been violently victimized, ostracized, and demonized by oppressive readings of sacred texts. Understanding ancient physiology demonstrates that our “scientific” or “natural” conceptions of gender change; they are not fixed but shaped by culture and society. We are currently at the cusp of a broader cultural/social paradigm shift as scientists are more clearly and publicly making known that a focus on two sexes cannot be supported biologically, further supporting the work that gender theorists such as Judith Butler have pioneered. While many welcome the possibilities that are on the horizon, others are using religion as a cudgel to continue to promote the concept of gender binaries. The required text, Brooke Holmes, Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy, should be read before the start of the course, there will be a writing assignment on it to be submitted prior to the first class. In addition to the required text, there will be readings assigned through Moodle once the course begins. The first week of the course will be setting the historical, cultural, and literary context for the course which will center on Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian sources. The second week will be student-led with presentations based on the individual research interests of the students, resulting in a variety of collective resources on gender and religion (not limited to Jewish and Christian traditions). [Monday & Tuesday August 2nd and 3rd will be student research days for their presentations, no synchronous meeting.] Relates to Thresholds # 2, 3, 4. Not open to incoming students.
This hybrid course will meet 3 hours synchronously M-F July 26-30 and W-F Aug 4-6 from 10am to 1pm PT on zoom paired with daily asynchronous lectures and activities. 3 Units. 4000 level course. [18 max enrollment; Auditors excluded]