Theme and perspective

How can we think historical change without thinking the very processes that make it possible, that is, the process of human generation? In this course we learn to think history through the lens of this question. This involves the very concrete bodily issues of reproduction  – which immediately leads us to broader fields such as concepts of femininity and masculinity, sexual morality, the creation of lineages, and the troubling issues of religious, class, ethnic and racial ‘mixing’. But the question also pertains to a less concrete family or individualized level, in asking how a society organizes the transfer of material, social and cultural properties and resources to the next generation, and how communities mark their boundaries in doing so. Or: how does this process create ‘inherited differences’ – nationality, status, race, etc.? By doing so, the course offers a historical perspective on intersectionality.

This course builds on Joan Scott’s groundbreaking conceptualization of gender as a fundamental category of historical analysis  by taking it a step further: it explicitly includes bodies and procreation within the concept. Bodies are understood in relation to practices, techniques, materialities and discourses through material semiotics. Precisely by understanding bodies in relation to practices and techniques, their historization becomes possible.

This course is organized by Huizinga Institute and NOG. Huizinga Institute is in charge of registration. The course is taught by Prof. Geertje Mak (UvA).

For more information on the course and registration click here.

Dates: Friday 1 November 2024 (morning); Friday 15 November 2024 (full day); Friday 22 November 2024 (full day); Friday 29 November 2024 (full day); Friday 6 December 2024 (full day); Friday 20 December 2024 (morning followed by lunch).
Credits: 6 ECTS
Registration: Registration will open early September. RMA Students who are members of the Huizinga Institute and NOG will have first access until 1 October.