Anthro 287a: Feminist Ethnographies
also Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) 387a

Instructor: Karen Nakamura
Tuesday/Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 (note time change)
77 Prospect Street Room A002 (note location change)
Yale Classes V2 Server

Last offered: -
Next offered: Fall 2005
Enrollment limit: 16 students

Brief Course Description

Explores developments in feminist anthropology through examination of ethnography and documentary film produced in the past twenty years. Focus on both feminist research methods as well as questions surrounding authority, reproduction, emotionality, and agency.


Extended Course Description

This course explores central feminist works written in the past two decades. We will look at the status of women cross-culturally, agency and resistance, gender and emotion, technologies of the body, and new feminist and post-modern ethnographies.

We will primarily be reading through ten key feminist ethnographic texts including classics such as The Thrice Told Tale and The Managed Heart as well as recent works such as Living for the Revolution: Black Feminist Organizations and Politics of Piety . We will also screen works by feminist filmmakers such as Trinh Minh-ha and Born into Brothels . Students will submit short weekly response papers in lieu of a midterm and final research paper.

Prerequisites and Requirements

This course is targeted towards advanced sophomores, juniors, and seniors in Anthropology and WGSS.

Book Précis 75%
Presentations 10%
Final Exam5%

Textbooks and Course Readings

The required textbooks will be available at the Yale bookstore. Course readings in the forms of articles will be distributed in class and also available through the classes V2 server.

TopicMain Reading Excerpts from
Overview Excerpts from Feminism and Anthropology
Writing and Representation Thrice Told Tale (1992)
Writing Women's Worlds (1993) Veiled Sentiments (1986)
Emotion Managed Heart (1983) Unnatural Emotions
Reading the Romance (1991)  
Self and Society Crafting Selves (1990) In the Realm of the Diamond
Genders in Production (2003) Spirits of Resistance
Technologies of Reproduction Birth as an American rite of passage (1992) Birth in Four Cultures (1975)
Motherhood Lost (2003) Testing Women, Testing the Fetus
Conclusion Politics of Piety

Main Ethnographies / Books:

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Library Resources

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