Knowing the Body:
on Sex and Gender
Anne Dalke and Gus Stadler
TTh 2:30-4, Chase 101
Photograph by Simran Kaur, BMC '04
Welcome to the home page of the core course
for the Feminist and Gender Studies Program,
Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges (Fall 2004).
gender, n. [a. OF. gen(d)re (F. genre) = Sp. and Pg. genero, It. genere, ad. L. gener- stem form of genus race, kind = Gr. , Skr. janas:OAryan *genes-, f. root - to produce; cf. KIN.]
1. Kind, sort, class; also, genus as opposed to species. the general gender: the common sort (of people). Obs.
2. In mod. (esp. feminist) use, a euphemism for the sex of a human being, often intended to emphasize the social and cultural, as opposed to the biological, distinctions between the sexes. Freq. attrib.
sex, n. [ad. L. sexus (u-stem), whence also F. sexe (12th c.), Sp., Pg. sexo, It. sesso. Latin had also a form secus neut. (indeclinable).]
1.Either of the two divisions of organic beings distinguished as male and female respectively; the males or the females (of a species, etc., esp. of the human race) viewed collectively.
|"sex is good for thinking....Levi-Strauss argues
that many people do not think in the manner of philosophers, by
manipulating abstractions. Instead,they think w/. . . concrete things from
everyday life . . . some things are especially good to think about.
They can be arranged in patterns, which bring out unsuspected
relationships and define unclear boundaries. Sex, I submit, is one of
them. As carnal knowledge works its way into cultural patterns, it
supplies endless material for thought, especially when it appears in
narratives--dirty jokes, male braggadocio, female gossip, bawdy
songs, and erotic novels. In all these forms, sex is not simply a
subject but also a tool used to pry the top off things and explore
their inner works. It does for ordinary people what logic does for
philosophers; it helps make sense of things."|
Robert Darnton, "Sex for Thought." Sexualities in
History: A Reader
"There are times in life when the question of
knowing if one can think differently than one thinks, and perceive
differently than one sees, is absolutely necessary if one is to go on
looking and reflecting at all."
Michel Foucault, The Uses of Pleasure
Students taking this course
have the option of enrolling in a Praxis III internship, focused on an aspect
of current gender politics and linked to the Gender and Sexuality class.
Fieldsites will be selected based on student interest and might include the
Women's Law Project, Planned Parenthood, Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil
Rights, American Friends Service Committee, N.O.W, Women Organized Against
Rape, Kensington Welfare Rights Organization, or Project HOME. Anne Dalke
will be the Advisor for the Praxis III component.
The Praxis III internship will function as an additional course for an additional credit. As with other Praxis III courses, students in
these gender politics internships will work at a fieldsite for 8-10 hours per
week for 10 weeks during the semester. Contact Nell Anderson Nell Anderson,
PRAXIS Program Director (610 526-5031) for further information.
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