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lgleysteen's picture

Hi Everyone!


My name is Lucy and I am a sophomore at Bryn Mawr.  I am an anthropology major with an undeclared gender and sexuality studies concentration.  I am interested in public health, particularly women’s health.  I wanted to take interdisciplinary perspectives on gender and sexuality because all of the other Gen/Sex classes that I have taken have been anthropology classes and I wanted to learn about gender and sexuality in a different context.  This semester I am also taking anthropology of the body and introduction to biology and I am hoping to see a connection between the three classes.


I was surprised to see the words, precarious, performative, playful and potential at the top of our syllabusI think that these words are a preview of what the class will be like as well as well as words that describe various aspects of gender and sexuality.  I will start with the least surprising word and that is perspective. The word perspective is important in relation to this class because one cannot understand gender and sexuality solely from their own experience. If I were to only study gender and sexuality through my anthropology major, I would not have a comprehensive view of the discipline.


Precarious was the most surprising word because I always have associated it with the idea of holding back.  This is a class that I do not want to hold back in. I understand how it relates to this class though because, defying what is the norm for gender and sexuality can put many people in a precarious situation.  For instance, it would be very difficult to tell a person that you are transgender if they have never even heard of that word before.  It would create a situation in which both people would have to use caution as to not upset the other.


To me, the word performative means that I will need to perform in this class.  This will be a course where I have to participate. Performativity is an important word in relation to gender because up until a certain point in many people’s life, their gender expression is different then their gender identity and they have to act differently than they actually feel.


The word potential means that everybody has the potential to do well and learn as long as they put in the effort.  It is possible to get a lot out of this course as long as the effort is made.  In studying gender, there is always the potential to learn more and have your preexisting ideas challenged.


I expect for this to be a fun class because the word play is in the title. I think the that play is in the tile not only to mean that this class is supposed to be enjoyable but also because the word play to me also means to explore and I hope to explore different disciplines outside of anthropology and how they relate to Gender and Sexuality.