Gender and Archaeology

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Course Title

Gender and Archaeology


Moss, Madonna

Institution Where Taught

University of Oregon

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Course Description

This course starts with an analysis of how archaeologists have traditionally represented women and men in prehistory. Although study of the archaeological record is one of the few ways to learn about gender relations in the remote past, conventional assumptions about gender have permeated interpretations. We start by learning how to identify androcentric thinking in archaeology and assess how feminist scholarship is pertinent to the study of the past. Through case studies and examples from various parts of the world, we consider the material evidence that informs us about gender. These approaches demonstrate how we can study, write, and represent gender in the past in more complex and less stereotypical ways. We examine how gender articulates with other variables, such as age, ethnicity, sexuality, and class. Ultimately this could lead to a better understanding of identity construction in the past. By the end of the class, we will have identified the major theoretical, methodological, and social challenges of investigating gender and these other social variables with archaeological data.

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