Gender Courses
Faculty of Philosophy
2013-2014

WINTER SEMESTER

School of Philology

Linguistic sexism and the claiming of the symbolic
Instructor: Th.-S. Pavlidou
Course Code: GLO 395

The course investigates the relationship between language and gender by means of various sociolinguistic theories in conjunction with feminist approaches to gender. It focuses on those workings of language and linguistic interaction through which women (and more generally the socially weaker groups in a society) are excluded from the field of symbolic representations and their construction or are presented from the perspective of the dominant social group. The course revolves around three axes: a) the study of linguistic sexism (origins, questions, paradigms), b) linguistic sexism and the Greek language, c) ways of confronting linguistic sexism. The aim is the resignification of the linguistic system and the change of the gendered representations/concepts via linguistic interaction. Particular emphasis is placed on the differences of the various approaches to language and gender and their methodological consequences.

School of History and Archaeology

Anthropology of religion
Instructor:  V. Apostolopoulos
Course code: FSA 324

From the perspective of social anthropology, religion does not constitute an autonomous, sui generis phenomenon, but an integral part of culture and society. Hence, the anthropology of religion has been dominated by questions concerning the origins, structure and function of different beliefs and practices. Anthropological approaches to religion have focused on many topics including myth, ritual, symbolism, magic, shamanism, spirit possession, prophecy and religious movements. Moreover, anthropological research and theorizing on religion have been sources of valuable insights concerning cross-cultural representations of the mortal gendered body and their implications for power relations. The first part of the course introduces students to the basic anthropological theories of religion. The second part covers selected topics and provides ethnographic examples.

 

School of English Language and Literature

Spenser and Milton
Instructor: K. Boklund-Lagopoulou
Course Code: Lit6-363

Edmund Spenser and John Milton, two of the most significant authors of the Early Modern period, worked within a cultural tradition that has become almost completely foreign to us.
However, many of the issues that concerned them –the nature and limits of political power,
the relationship between the sexes, the role of sensuality, the link between gender, power,
and violence– are as relevant to today’s world as they were in the 16th and 17th centuries.
The aim of the course is to help students understand and appreciate these two classical writers in relation to the culture and society of their times. It is desirable, though not absolutely
necessary, for students to have passed Lit 6-241 Renaissance Literature before attempting this course. Upon completion of the course, students should:

  • Be familiar with the main works of Spenser and Milton and their historical context
  • Be able to read and understand these texts with the help of notes, and to comment intelligently on their form and content
  • Be acquainted with the basic critical literature on some aspect of either Spenser or Milton
  • Be able to present and discuss critical opinions in a brief researched essay.

The politics of race and gender in American culture: African-American writers
Instructor: D. Pastourmatzi
Course Code: Lit7-369Ε

The course aims at introducing students to the African-American literary tradition. It focuses on the works (essays, short stories, novels) of major black writers from various historical periods, and examines their works from different theoretical perspectives. It probes into the black experience in the United States as it is registered and represented in specific works of art. It clarifies the political awareness and strategies of black writers, as well as their concern with race, gender, class, sexuality and identity. Assessment: Final exam and/or research project(s).

English Literature and Culture: The 20th Century (1950-2000)
Instructor: E. Yiannopoulou
Course code: Lit6-245RE

This module surveys English literature and culture of the second half of the 20th century. Its
aim is to acquaint students with the issues and debates which informed literary and cultural
production in Britain during this period by examining closely selected literary, theoretical and
cultural texts of the time. Emphasis is placed on (literary and visual) texts that explore the areas of postmodernism, Black British writing and gender.
By the end of the module students are expected:

  • To have a thorough knowledge of the texts discussed in class
  • To be acquainted with the debates and changes which surround the production of literature
  • and culture in Britain in the second half of the 20th century
  • To have a good knowledge of the social, cultural and historical trajectory of Britain in the same period
  • To have begun to explore the interface between literary and cultural critique.

School of German Language and Literature

Epochen, Gattungen, Strömungen: Bürgerliches Trauerspiel des 18. und 19.
Jahrhunderts
Instructor: S. Delianidou
Course Code: ΒΚ0132

In diesem Seminar lernen die Studierenden zunächst die kulturelle Situation des Bürgertums im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert kennen. Dann lernen die Studierenden einige Theorien der gender studies und der cultural studies kennen, und wenden sie in der Praxis an, indem sie sie auf die literarische Texte anwenden. Daraufhin befassen sie sie sich mit dem bürgerlichen Trauerspiel des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts. Untersuchungsgegenstand sind folgende Dramen: Miß Sara Sampson (1755), das erste bürgerliche Trauerspiel, und Emilia Galotti (1772) von Gotthold Ephraim Lessing; Kabale und Liebe (1784) von Friedrich Schiller; Maria Magdalena (1843) von Friedrich Hebbel.

 

SPRING SEMESTER

School of Philology

Gender studies and the humanities
Instructor: Th.-S. Pavlidou, M. Mike, K. Kitsi-Mytakou
Course Code: GLO/GSG 400

The course aims at introducing basic issues with regard to the production and teaching of scientific knowledge that were raised by Gender Studies, as a consequence of the women’s movement in the late ’60s; for example, how do the socially constructed differences and inequalities between men and women inform the objects of inquiry, the scientific theories and methodologies, and so on. Part of the course will be conducted in the form of a Ringvorlesung with contributions by colleagues working in different fields of the humanities, e.g. Social Anthropology, History, Education, Philology, etc. The conceptualization of gender holds a pivotal position in the above investigations: gender as performance (Judith Butler) will be a basic tenet throughout the course, including the written assignment.
Assessment: a) written assignment, b) oral presentation or written examination.

School of History and Archaeology

Social organization: Anthropology of gender and sexuality/kinship
Instructor: A. Bakalaki
Course Code: FSA 312

With very few and brief breaks, the study of kinship has constituted the core of anthropological  praxis since the emergence of the discipline. Issues and practices concerning the division of labor, post-marital residence, marriage exchanges and cultural representations of conception, birth and death are some of the many foci of  research  through which the study of kinship has influenced the ways anthropologists think about society, culture, politics, the economy and many more topics. The course attempts a historical overview of ethnographic approaches to kinship and marriage and an understanding of the role of these approaches in the development of important theories like functionalism, structuralism and symbolic anthropology. However, special emphasis will be paid to current approaches. More specifically, we focus on perspectives which integrate the study of kinship with that of gender, on research concerning current transformations of the nuclear family and, finally, on critiques of the binary opposition between biological and social aspects of kinship which until recently had been taken for granted. 

School of English Language and Literature

Gender and Language
Instructor: M. Makri-Tsilipakou
Course Code: GL4-440

Language as a form of social behaviour both constructs and perpetuates deeply held cultural beliefs concerning the way women and men should view each other and themselves, and the symbolic positioning of women as inferior to men. Discrimination against women (sexism) is built into both language and social divisions and practices, which are, in turn, reinforced by language habits. By focussing on the language used for and by women and men in relation to gendered social practices, we hope to expose sexism and help change the androcentric construction of reality. Relevant topics include gender ingredients and stereotypes, language asymmetries, false ‘generics’, gendered talk, politeness, conversation management, non-verbal communication etc.

Topics in Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama
Instructor: T. Krontiris
Course Code: Lit6-322

This course studies 3-4 dramatic works written by well-known playwrights of the Elizabethan
and Jacobean period (Marlowe, Jonson, Shakespeare, Webster, Marston, Middleton, and others). It discusses important issues, such as marriage, gender, parent-child relationships, state politics, social/ political corruption, etc. Each year the course focuses on a specific topic and interested students are encouraged to check the instructor’s announcements close to registration time. The general aim of the course is to determine the position of the dramatic texts visà-vis the crisis of values that informed the early 17th century, the role of men and women in social institutions (like marriage and family), the degree of their freedom or lack thereof, and their relation to the socio-political system depicted in the dramas. Expected learning outcomes:

  • Ability of students to read critically theatrical plays of the early 17th century.
  • Ability of students to interpret the selected plays in relation to the period in which they were written—that is, to connect the issues and questions raised by the texts of the plays with the ideological and socio-political issues of the late 16th and early 17th century, drawing the necessary parallels with our own era.

English Literature and Culture: The 20th Century (1890-1950)
Instructor: K. Kitsi-Mitakou
Course Code: Lit6-244RE

The aim of this course is to give an overall view of English literature and culture in the first half
of the 20th century. We will first examine the final decade of the nineteenth century, and the
‘Late Victorians’ (like Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw, and Thomas Hardy), a group of writers who revolted against the principles of Victorianism and were also called ‘the first of the moderns.’ The course will then introduce students to the traits of Modernism by studying them in relation to the major changes that took place in art, science and philosophy at that time. By closely analyzing a selection of texts from the genres of poetry, fiction and drama, we will explore how modernism both redefines most of the literary forms and conventions (such as time, point of view, character, plot, and genre), and touches upon new and radical thematic areas related with race, class, gender, empire, etc. The course will include, among other works, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, essays and poems by T. S. Eliot and W. B. Yeats, as well as short stories by D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield. It will also attempt to follow changing understandings of what a literary text is, how it relates to the world, as well what the role of the author and the reader is in modern literature. Expected learning outcomes:

  • Familiarization of students with the late Victorian and early 20th-century period
  • Familiarization with the changes that took place during the first half of the 20th century in all aspects of life
  • Ability to connect literary texts to their social, cultural and historical context
  • Improvement of the students’ critical thought.

English Romanticism: Literature and Politics (1780-1832)
Instructor: M. Schoina
Course Code: Lit6-375E

The course provides students with an advanced introduction to the scholarly and critical study
of poetry and other writings (non-fiction prose, short fiction, drama) written in the British Romantic era (1780-1832). Informed by recent scholarship in Romantic studies, our reading of selected texts will attend closely to the historical, political, social, economic and cultural contexts in which the literature is embedded. Specifically, we will concentrate on the themes of revolution, gender, empire, exoticism, identity, authorship and genre. Along with the poetry
and prose we will read contemporary theoretical texts that address these areas. The writers
to be studied will include Blake, Barbauld, Robinson, Byron, Baillie, Beckford, Coleridge, Shelley, Hemans, Clare, Wordsworth and Keats. Expected learning outcomes:

  • Ability to map and interpret the movement of English Romanticism and its social-political
  • dimension through the reading of selected literary and historical texts
  • Familiarization of students with the broad cross-section of writers working in the years between 1789-1832
  • Familiarization of students with theoretical texts and ability to connect them with the literature examined.

American Literature and Culture: the 19th century
Instructor: D. Pastourmatzi
Course Code: Lit7-247RE

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the historical, socio-political and cultural
context in which the 19th century United States transformed itself from an agricultural nation
to an industrial giant. Through the study of selected works of significant American essayists,
philosophers and writers, students will be able to familiarize themselves with the main principles, beliefs and ideology of Transcendentalism, Romanticism, Realism and Naturalism. Attention will also be paid on the gender-based and/or racially-based perspectives of the particular works. Learning outcomes and competences:

  • Basic knowledge of the major historical events in the 19th century
  • Basic knowledge of the main principles and key concepts of each literary movement and of their differences in perspective
  • Good understanding of the influence of Emerson and Thoreau on the American mindset
  • Familiarization with the works of various writers which have contributed to the formation of an American literary tradition
  • Development of a critical approach to literature.