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HI 303Z / HI 353Z

Course Co-ordinator: Professor J Stevenson

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to students on Programme Year 3 and above.

Note(s): This module is available to students on all non-History degree programmes as a Discipline Breadth course for the enhanced study requirement. However, the admission of students with a non-History degree intention will be at the discretion of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy.

This course introduces students to the idea of gender as a social construct, while at the same time, teaching them a certain amount about the Byzantine world, focusing particularly on the period from the fourth to sixth centuries. Sexual identity is an extremely important aspect of personal identity in all societies, but by looking at a pre-medieval set of ideas which are in fundamental ways, radically different from our own, students will be helped to think critically and analytically about an area of human experience which is commonly regarded as natural, and not subject to this kind of enquiry.

This course will be available in 2012/13 as HI 303Z.

Week 1
1. Introduction
2. Library session
Week 2
3. What was a man? legally, socially and culturally
4. What was a woman? legally, socially and culturally
Week 3
5. Medical theories of gender and sexuality
6. Christianity and sexuality
Week 4
7 Case study: St Augustine?s Confessions and Late Roman masculinity
8 Emperors: men, or more than men?
Week 5
9 Virgins: a third sex, or superwomen?
10 Subwomen: prostitutes, actresses
Week 6
11 Eunuchs, legally, socially and culturally
12 Eunuchs in fantasy: Case study: Claudian, In Eutropium
Week 7
13 Eunuchs in fact
14 ?Eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven?
Week 8
15 Angels
16 The Virgin Mary
Week 9
17 Motherhood
18 Transcending her sex
Week 10
19 Basileus/basilissa: women as rulers
20 Passing for a man
Week 11
21 Case study: Perpetua's Prison Diary
22 Male homosexuality
Week 12
23 Lesbianism
24 Deviance and Identity

2 one-hour lectures, 1 one-hour tutorial per week.

1st Attempt: Seminar presentation (powerpoint) (10%);
first essay (40%), 2,500 words (50%) second essay, 2,500 words

Resit: One essay 2,500 words (100%).