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Gender and Society: Unit I


Part 1. we (attempt) to define gender and sex



Thursday August 29: What will we be doing twice a week in this classroom?

CLICK ON THIS LINK to watch Toni Morrison delivers her address to the Center for Human Values at Princeton University, April 27, 2000 (she starts at 12:10).


Morrison, T. (2001). How Can Values Be Taught in the University? Michigan Quarterly Review, XL(2). Retrieved from

Rich, A. (2005). Claiming an Education. In C. Anderson & L. Runciman (Eds.), Open questions: Readings for critical thinking and writing (pp. 608–611). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.


Tuesday September 3: Gender is a social construction with very real effects


Beauvoir, S. de. (1953). Childhood. In H. M. Parshley (Trans.), The Second Sex (pp. 285–292). Jonathan Cape: London.

hooks,  bell. (2010). Understanding Patriarchy. Retrieved from


Tuesday September 10: Cross-cultural perspectives on gender


Mead, M. (2008). Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. In M. S. Kimmel & A. Aronson (Eds.), The gendered society reader (3rd ed, pp. 38–41). New York: Oxford University Press.

Smith, L. T. (2012). Introduction. In Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples (Second edition, pp. 1–4). London: Zed Books.



Thursday September 12: but, wait, what is "sex"? the biological as a social construct


Martin, E. (1991). The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles. Signs, 16(3), 485–501.


Tuesday September 17: the continuum of sexes


Fausto-Sterling, A. (2000). Confronting the Intersex Newborn. In Sexing the body: Gender politics and the construction of sexuality (1st ed, pp. 45–54). New York, NY: Basic Books.

Karkazis, K. (2018, June 28). The Masculine Mystique of T. Retrieved August 17, 2019, from The New York Review of Books website:



Thursday Seotember 19: Gender is a Performance


Big Think. (2011). Judith Butler: Your Behavior Creates Your Gender. Retrieved from

Charpentier-Basille, G. (2017). Devenir [Video]. Retrieved from

Crawley, S. L., Foley, L. J., & Shehan, C. L. (2007). Doing “Woman” / Doing “Man.” In Gendering Bodies (pp. 44–49). Retrieved from


check out Chris Rijksen 's interview about the project GENDER AS A PERFORMANCE here:

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All reading responses are submitted via Blackboard the day before the class by 11:59 PM. They should be typed in 12-pt and double spaced. Additional guidelines about the format and content of the responses are available on the syllabus.

Marianne Madoré -