Gender and Nationalism (2017/18)

Course Description: 

This course examines some of the major theoretical approaches to and empirically grounded analyses of the ways in which national/ist discourses and practices are gendered and sexualized. The course approaches the concept of nation and its close variants – ethnic and cultural identities, nation-states, citizenship and notions of belonging – as historically contingent and continuously reproduced through discourse and practice on a variety of levels of power. In keeping with anthropological approaches, we concentrate on both conceptual/discursive frameworks and material effects in the everyday lives of people belonging to various socially defined groups. We approach differently gendered subjectivities, men and women, masculinities and femininities, as well as sexuality as they intersect with national, ethno-national, and nation-state formations. Particular areas of focus include reproduction, kinship, ethnicity, war violence, sexuality and notions of modernity and culture. Geographically and historically the course takes a broad, comparative view, even as we pay particular attention to certain contexts such as the former Yugoslavia where the professor has particular expertise.

Learning Outcomes: 

Through lectures, assigned readings, small and large group discussions, student presentations, written critiques, and the group media project, students should come out of this course able to:

-       identify and discuss the main theoretical issues involved in studying nations and nationalisms as discursive, cultural, and material phenomena

-       recognize and analyze the ways in which notions of gender, sex and sexuality are implicated in national/ist discourses and practices

-       critically assess and compare class readings according to the theoretical arguments put forward and the methods used to construct those arguments

-       identify and research a topic of theoretical relevance to the themes of the course through primary sources found on the internet or other available resources

-       present critical written analysis that is backed up by arguments and evidence from class readings and/or primary research materials

-       demonstrate abilities to analyze, assess and compare class materials through oral participation in class


Your grade will be based on:

Class participation and attendance 20%
2 Reaction papers (20% each) 40%
Group media project 40%
              Oral presentation 10%
              Final essay 30%