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FEMGEN 262: Sex and the Early Church (CLASSICS 262, FEMGEN 362R, RELIGST 262, RELIGST 362)

Sex and the Early Church examines the ways first- through sixth-century Christians addressed questions regarding human sexuality. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and issues of gender, culture, power, and resistance. We will read a Roman gynecological manual, an ancient dating guide, the world's first harlequin romance novels, ancient pornography, early Christian martyrdom accounts, stories of female and male saints, instructions for how to best battle demons, visionary accounts, and monastic rules. These will be supplemented by modern scholarship in classics, early Christian studies, gender studies, queer studies, and the history of sexuality. The purpose of our exploration is not simply to better understand ancient views of gender and sexuality. Rather, this investigation of a society whose sexual system often seems so surprising aims to denaturalize many of our own assumptions concerning gender and sexuality. In the process, we will also examine more »
Sex and the Early Church examines the ways first- through sixth-century Christians addressed questions regarding human sexuality. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and issues of gender, culture, power, and resistance. We will read a Roman gynecological manual, an ancient dating guide, the world's first harlequin romance novels, ancient pornography, early Christian martyrdom accounts, stories of female and male saints, instructions for how to best battle demons, visionary accounts, and monastic rules. These will be supplemented by modern scholarship in classics, early Christian studies, gender studies, queer studies, and the history of sexuality. The purpose of our exploration is not simply to better understand ancient views of gender and sexuality. Rather, this investigation of a society whose sexual system often seems so surprising aims to denaturalize many of our own assumptions concerning gender and sexuality. In the process, we will also examine the ways these first centuries of what eventually became the world's largest religious tradition has profoundly affected the sexual norms of our own time. The seminar assumes no prior knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, the bible, or ancient history. Undergraduates register for 200-level for 5 units. Graduate students register for 300-level for 3-5 units.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-EDP

FEMGEN 262B: The Roots of Gendered Labor: Women and Work in American History (AMSTUD 262B, HISTORY 262B)

This class will explore the long, tangled history of women's labor in North America. Beginning with gendered labor practices among Native Americans, West Africans, and Europeans in the seventeenth century, this class will proceed thematically and chronologically through the early twentieth century. We will consider the deep roots of gendered labor in American history, asking how categories of race and class, freedom and enslavement, and immigration status have structured female labor. We will also examine the ways in which social transformations such as industrialization and urbanization, as well as changes in the economic, political, and sexual order shaped the experiences of laboring women. Reading secondary sources alongside a rich array of primary sources, including images and songs, we will consider the deep continuities and wrenching changes in the meanings of women's work over time.
Last offered: Winter 2023 | UG Reqs: WAY-EDP, WAY-SI
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