Gender is central to understanding people’s lived experiences
and life opportunities. As a key category of analysis in
anthropology, gender informs and problematizes important bodies of
knowledge within the discipline.
This course introduces students to the anthropological study of
gender by drawing on ethnographic reflections from various regions
as well as on key texts from within feminist anthropology, gender
studies, queer theory and trans studies.
During the course, we will consider how anthropologists study
the complex relationships between culture specific gender norms,
colonialism, neoliberalism, war and health care systems. We will
explore how subjects in multiple cultural settings negotiate
gendered positions while critically examining how power structures
based on race, class, sexual orientation, religion and nationality
inform and reconfigure gendered subjectivities and experiences.
Through studying a varied range of topics such as drag balls,
indigenous gender systems, trans people’s access to health care,
feminist methodologies, intimate labor, war on terror, queer
migration and kinship relations we will examine and challenge (also
our own) normative and stereotypical understandings of gender.
This course will eventually enable students to develop critical
anthropological insights into the ways in which norms and positions
connected to gender and sexuality are reproduced, negotiated and
challenged in different social and spatial contexts, and the
students will be able to raise questions about how we as
anthropologists understand, explore and are engaged in the
life-worlds and people we work with.
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
Obtain a familiarity with key theories and concepts in the study
of gender and sexuality.
Comprehend the ethical dilemmas faced by anthropologists
conducting fieldwork on gender and reflect on your own
Understand how anthropological knowledge about gender adds
insight into ethnographic case studies.
Critically assess the relationship between gender and
contemporary social and political problems.
Discuss how gender intersects with ethnicity, class,
nationality, age, sexual orientation and power structures.
Show how anthropological analyses can contest normative
understandings of gender and sexuality.
MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature + 200 pages of
literature chosen by students
Literature chosen by students must be relevant to the course’s
Course literature will be available in Absalon on the
Teaching and learning methods
Students will be expected to actively contribute to the common
learning process facilitated during the course by:
• Thoroughly reading at least any one of the required readings per
week and loosely reading the rest of the texts.
• Actively participate in class discussions and group work while
checking your privileges and giving space to fellow students.
• Handing in all the portfolio assignments on time and present and
discuss them in class.
Length: The portfolio exam can be taken individually or in groups
of maximum four students. The portfolio exam consists of 3-7
submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The
total length of all of the submissions must not exceed 30,000
keystrokes for a single student. For groups of two students the
maximum is 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students the
maximum is 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students the
maximum is 50,000 keystrokes.
All aids allowed
7-point grading scale
No external censorship
An essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted at
the announced date. The students must sign up for the 1.
Please note that the re-exam is an essay even for courses, where
the ordinary exam is a portfolio exam.
A new essay with a revised problem statement must be submitted
at the announced date next semester. The students must sign up for
the 2. re-exam.