Anthropology 224: Ethnography of Gender in Latin America
Department of Anthropology, SUNY Geneseo
Class Meetings: Monday Wednesday Friday, 1:30-2:20 pm Sturges 104
Instructor: Dr. James Aimers
Office: Sturges Hall 13H
Please visit me if you have any questions regarding the content or organization of the course, or for other reasons related to your academic progress. My office hours are:
Monday 2:30- 3:30 pm
Tuesday 12-2 pm
You can also meet with me by e-mailing for an appointment 2-3 days in advance.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions I can answer in three sentences or so can be e-
mailed, but please speak to me for more complex questions and problems. I read e-mail as often as possible but please allow 1-2 days for a response, not including weekends and holidays. Please include ANTH 224 and a topic in the subject line and sign your message.
Office Phone: 245-5276
Technical and computer-related problems, MyCourses etc: Call the CIT helpdesk is 245-5588
A comparative review of gender and sexuality in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Emphasis on patterns of male and female behavior and their social, economic, and political consequences. This semester’s readings are predominantly Mexican case studies.
In this course students will demonstrate
• ability to critically read, discuss, and write about issues of gender and sexuality in Latin America
• familiarity with important theoretical perspectives on gender and sexuality
• scholarly research skills by contributing to an annotated bibliography on gender and sexuality in Latin America.
Besides fulfilling your multi-cultural graduation requirements, this course also fulfills one course in the social science general education requirements. The guidelines for a social science core course stress the development of the following characteristics of a responsible member of society:
(1) an acquaintance with major empirical, analytical, or theoretical approaches to human behavior, institutions or culture;
(2) an acquaintance with social, economic, political, or moral alternatives;
(3) an acquaintance with major problems, issues, institutions, practices or trends in the social world;
(4) a capacity to express ideas clearly, coherently and grammatically in written form as one component of the evaluation process. This written work must total at least 1500 words, at least half of which must be prepared outside of class.
SUNY Geneseo will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented physical, emotional or learning disabilities. Students should consult with the Director in the Office of Disability Services (Tabitha Buggie-Hunt, 105D Erwin, email@example.com) and their individual faculty regarding any needed accommodations as early as possible in the semester.
Gutmann, M. C.
2007 The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City. University of California Press, Berkeley.
McClusky, L. J.
2001 "Here Our Culture is Hard" Stories of Domestic Violence from a Mayan Community in Belize. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Other Required readings will be available in my Outbox. Instructions on accessing Outboxes can be found here: https://wiki.geneseo.edu/display/cit/In+and+Out+Boxes
Value of Course Components:
In-class reading tests (Mondays) 25%
Participation (you will record this) 10%
Group Wiki Project (500 words/student) 20%
Key Concept contribution (200 words) 10%
Annotated Bibliography entry (400 words) 15 %
Final exam (all course material)(400 word written section) 20%
A = 94% +
A - = 90 - 93.99 %
B+ = 87 – 89.99 %
B = 83 – 86.99 %
B - = 80 – 82.99 %
C+ = 77 - 79.99 %
C = 73 – 76.99 %
C - = 68 – 72.99 %
D = 58 – 67.99 %
E = 0 – 57.99 %
See MyCourses -> Course Materials for a document that describes my grading criteria (e.g., what kind of work receives a grade of A).
Geneseo Undergraduate Bulletin : Final grades are recorded as A, A- (excellent); B+, B, B- (very good); C+, C (satisfactory);C- (minimal competence); D (marginal); E (failure); F (failure in courses elected under the pass-fail option which are not completed successfully); P (pass in courses elected under the pass-fail option which are completed successfully; P is equivalent to a grade of C- or higher); S (satisfactory is equivalent to a grade of C- or higher); U (unsatisfactory); and W (withdrawn).
Assignments, Attendance and Lateness
Regular attendance is the easiest way to ensure success on this course. Please arrive on time.
Late assignments will be penalized 5% per day, including weekends.
Make-up tests and exams are available only under extraordinary circumstances, and will require medical or other documentation.
You should bring an internet enabled laptop to every class. In-class tests will be multiple choice. I will drop the lowest two scores when calculating the final grade.
Group Wiki: Gender Analysis
The class will be divided into groups of 3. Each group should choose some sort of non-ethnographic “text” relating to Latin America. This could be a novel, a play, or film, or even a Spanish-language television series (from Latin America). Conduct an analysis of the piece using concepts covered in the course, with specific references to course content and other sources. The entry should average about 500 words per student. To find the Gender and Sexuality Wiki, go to the Geneseo wiki: https://wiki.geneseo.edu:8443/dashboard.action Login at the top right of screen (with your usual ID and password), then scroll down the left side of the screen. The group wiki should be posted to the Gender and Sexuality wiki by 8 am the Monday of Week 14 (Monday April 23). The entry will be graded on coherence (it should read as one integrated piece of writing despite multiple authors), effective use of concepts from the course readings, and the quality of additional scholarly research. Draft due in Mon Feb 27 8 am (see Week 7 description), final due Mon April 23, 8 am.
Key Concept Contribution
At some point in the course you should use the ”Comment” function of the wiki add detail to one of the key concept categories on the Gender and Sexuality wiki. You may also add a new entry if a concept is not already there. Your contribution must include a reference to at least one scholarly or peer-reviewed source that is not a course reading (the source may be referenced within our readings, however), with evidence that you have actually examined the source. This resource should be referenced correctly in American Antiquity style.
Annotated Bibliography Entry
You will contribute a 400-word entry to the Gender and Sexuality Wiki on the Geneseo Dashboard Wiki site, and we will discuss it in class. The entry should be more than just a summary of the readings. It will be graded for clarity/ organization and critical thought. You can also use links to external websites and related readings on the wiki .
Students are urged to read the policies on Academic Honesty at:
As the policy notes, “Any one of the following constitutes evidence of plagiarism:
• direct quotation without identifying punctuation and citation of source;
• paraphrase of expression or thought without proper attribution;
• unacknowledged dependence upon a source in plan, organization, or argument.”
I also consider reusing your own work from another class to be plagiarism. I take academic honesty very seriously and I will follow up on instances of cheating and plagiarism to the fullest extent that the university allows. If I believe the offense is very serious, I can—and will—recommend suspension or dismissal to the College Judicial Committee.
Topics and Readings
You are responsible for each week’s readings and you should be prepared to discuss them. I will take questions at any time during the lectures. Please feel free to raise your hand at any time.
Week 1: January 18 and 20
Introduction: Anthropology and Gender
Introductions and formation of groups. Scholarly and peer-reviewed sources, American Antiquity style (referencing and citation), Gender and Sexuality wiki, plagiarism.
There are two online quizzes for the Kottak Chapters (in MyCourses →Course Materials). These are due by 11:55 pm Thursday January 19 (we will discuss them in class on Friday). The software will let you take each test three times and record your highest score.
Plagiarism Quiz (in MyCourses →Course Materials). There is an online quiz on plagiarism due by 11:55 pm Sunday January 22 This is required but it is non-graded. I will not accept written work from you until you have completed the plagiarism quiz.
Kottak, Conrad Phillip
2010 Chapter 2, Culture. In Mirror for Humanity, 6th Edition, pp. 23-45. McGraw-Hill, Boston.
Kottak, Conrad Phillip
2010 Chapter 8, Gender. In Mirror for Humanity, 6th Edition, pp. 167-189. McGraw-Hill, Boston.
Week 2: January 23, 25, and 27
Introduction and Key Concepts: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality PART I
The first in-class quiz will be on Monday.
2003a Chapter 1, Introduction: Gender in a Changing Continent. In Gender in Latin America, edited by S. Chant and N. Craske, pp. 1-18. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ.
2003b Chapter 10, Conclusion: Looking to the Future. In Gender in Latin America, edited by S. Chant and N. Craske, pp. 254-260. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ.
Week 3: January 30, February 1and 3
Introduction and Key Concepts: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality PART 2
In-class quizzes continue throughout the semester.
Murray, S. O. and M. Arboleda G.
1995 Stigma Transformation and Relexification. In Latin American Male Homosexualities, edited by S. O. Murray, pp. 138-144. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
French, W. E. and K. E. Bliss
2007 Introduction: Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Latin America since Independence. In Gender, Sexuality, and Power in Latin America Since Independence, edited by W. E. French and K. E. Bliss, pp. 1-30. Rowman and Littlefield, New York.
Week 4: February 6, 8, and 10
Introduction and Key Concepts: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality PART 3
Chant, S. and N. Craske
2003 Chapter 6, Gender and Sexuality. In Gender in Latin America, edited by S. Chant and N. Craske, pp. 128-160. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick.
2002 An Initial Glimpse of Mexican Sexualities: The Historical Context. In The Night Is Young: Sexuality in Mexico in the Time of Aids, pp. 13-29. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Week 5: February 13, 15, and 17
Gutmann, M. C.
2003 Introduction: Discarding Manly Dichotomies in Latin America. In Changing Men and Masculinities in Latin America, pp. 1-26. Duke University Press, Durham.
2007a Introduction: Gender Conventions and Chapter 1: Real Mexican Machos are Born to Die. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 1-32. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007b The Invasion of Santo Domingo. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 33-49. University of California Press, Berkeley. Note: You can skim this chapter; it is not essential to the course but serves as background to Gutmann’s ethnography.
Week 6: February 20, 22, and 24
Gutmann, M. C.
2007a Imaginary Fathers, Genuine Fathers. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 50-88. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007b Motherly Presumptions and Presumptuous Mothers. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 89-110. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007c Men’s Sex. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 111-145. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007d Diapers and Dishes, Words and Deeds. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 146-172. University of California Press, Berkeley
Week 7: February 27 and 29, March 2 New School Seminar no class Wednesday; meet with groups
First draft of group wiki assignment is due on Monday by 8 am.. Each group should have chosen a “text” and should provide a paragraph about how the wiki will be organized.
Gutmann, M. C.
2007a Degendering Alcohol. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 173-195. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007b Fear and Loathing in Male Violence. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 196-220. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007c Machismo. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 221-242. University of California Press, Berkeley.
2007d Creative Contradictions. In The Meanings of Macho: Being a Man in Mexico City, pp. 243-264. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Week 8: March 5, 7 and 9
McClusky (2001) Introduction
McClusky (2001) Chapter 1: The Field Site and Fieldwork
McClusky (2001) Chapter 2: Laziness and Work
SPRING BREAK March 12-16
Week 9: March 19, 21, and 23
Lagarde y de los Rios, M.
2010 Preface: Feminist Keys for Understanding Femicide. In Terrorizing Women : Femicide in the Americas, edited by R.-L. Fregoso and C. Bejarano, pp. xi-xxv. Duke University Press, Durham.
McClusky (2001) Chapter 3: Another Legitimate Beating
McClusky (2001) Chapter 4: Daughters
Week 10: March 26, 28, and 30
McClusky (2001) Chapter 5: “When We Go to High School, We Change”
McClusky (2001) Chapter 6: Traveling Spirits
McClusky (2001) Summary and Discussion; Epilogue: Milling Data
Week 11: April 2, 4, and 6
Queer Studies 1
Green, J. N. and F. E. Babb
2002 Introduction (Special Issue on Gender and Same-Sex Desire in Latin America). Latin American Perspectives 29(2):3-23.
2001 The Complicated Terrain of Latin American Homosexuality. Hispanic American Historical Review 81(3/4):689-729.
Week 12: April 9. 11, and 13
Queer Studies 2
2002 Introduction to Part 1: Sexual Identities and I Am Normal: Gender-Based Categories of Sexual Identity In The Night Is Young: Sexuality in Mexico in the Time of Aids, pp. 31-59. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. (Note that these have been scanned as two separate documents)
2002 Sexualities and Genders in Zapotec Oaxaca. Latin American Perspectives 29(2):41-59.
• Friday: begin film: Blossoms of Fire (1hr 15 min) on women Juchitan. Oaxaca
Week 13: Wed and Friday I will attend the Society for American Archaeology Meeting in Memphis TN.
class Monday April 16: Finish Film: finish Blossoms of Fire 1hr 15 min on women Juchitan Oaxaca
Groups should use class time on Wednesday and Friday to finish wiki projects. Project due by 8 am Monday April 23
Week 14: April 23, 25, and 27
Queer Studies 3
Group projects due by 8 am Monday April 23.
• Brief presentations of group projects—be prepared to present on Monday; most will be on Wednesday and Friday.
1989 Sexual Witchcraft, Colonialism, and Women's Powers: Views from the Mexican Inquisition. In Sexuality and Marriage in Colonial Latin America, edited by A. Lavrin, pp. 178-206. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln.
Chaves, M. E.
2000 Slave Women's Strategies for Freedom and the Late Spanish Colonial State. In Hidden Histories of Gender and the State in Latin America, edited by E. Dore and M. Molyneux, pp. 108-126. Duke University Press, Durham.
Week 15: Monday April 30 is the last day of class
Review of wiki, catch up and review for exam; final comments,.
Final Exam (all course material): Tuesday May 8, 12-3 pm in regular room