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Mapping Gender

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19 hours

Summary

This course, taught by Sarah Williams, is designed for those who are asking questions about identity, gender, sexuality and theology. As a class we will consider how one culture understood masculinity and femininity as social and relational categories, as ideas, and as cultural constructs. Our aim is to explore how themes such as gender roles, motherhood, fatherhood, singleness, gender stereotyping and authority were mapped in late-Georgian and Victorian church and society. Through a challenging and in-depth historical study of the period c1780-1900, this course seeks to shed fresh light on many of the issues which preoccupy us today. As we encounter a time period qualitatively different from our own, contemporary presuppositions will be re-assessed, challenged and re-articulated. In this way the course deliberately seeks to foster critical acumen, imagination and historical perspective. The social, economic and political "revolutions" of the period c1780-1900 created a crisis of identity for both men and women. These crises are examined as a backdrop for understanding the varied ways in which theological ideas shaped emergent cultural ideals of masculinity and femininity. A primary area of inquiry is the relationship between evangelicalism and redefinitions of male and female involvement in education, family life, the academy, the arts, health care, church leadership and political life. Britain provides the starting point for this study although comparisons will be drawn with the US, Canada, France, Germany and Scandinavia. In addition, whilst the period 1780-1900 forms the focus of our inquiry, the last three lectures of the term will trace patterns of change into the Twentieth Century. Lectures include:

Public Men, Private Women? - The Rise of Domestic Ideology
Femininity and Masculinity Explored
Domesticity and Parenthood
Learning, Education, and the Academy - Greek or Needlework?
Introducing the Victorian Church - Men, Women, and Worship
The Transformation of Domestic Ideology - Philanthropy: Private Women in the Public Sphere
Commerce, Politics, and the Public Sphere
The Transformation of Domestic Ideology - Domestic Critiques of the Body Politic
Men, Women, and War - 20th Century Modifications
The Rise of Modern Feminism - Continuity and Change

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