GENDER, SEXUALITY, AND CHILDHOOD IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT
Although childhood is often conflated with a biological category based on an immature body, in reality it is much more. Instead, this course examines the ways in which childhood is a discursive and continuously shifting category, one that changes across time and place. This course will introduce students to the study of children and childhood in a cross-cultural context and will pay particular attention to the ways in which notions of childhood, and the experience of being a child, draw from and reproduce understandings of gender and sexuality as they intersect with race, class, ethnicity, etc. Through readings, lectures, and films, we will also consider the meaning of gendered childhoods in light of contemporary forms of conception, children's culture (media, toys and artifacts, stories), child labor and play, and ritual and coming of age ceremonies. An analysis of these contemporary phenomenon highlight local and regional notions of childhood and their intersection with broader global patterns. In addition to lectures, a portion of each class will be devoted to group discussions in which students are encourage to engage with the course readings. Students will give presentations and assist with discussion facilitation. We will also view films. Evaluations will be based on the student's participation in these discussions, as well as two exams, and a series of four writing assignments.