95 Workshop Two : Sexuality & Gender, Theory & Experience

Download a Word Doc. of Workshop 2 here.

General Instructions: (10 minutes to check-in, introduce yourselves, and get set up with a timekeeper)


For this workshop, you’ll be organized in a Zoom Breakout Room with a group of approximately four students.  Once you have landed in your Breakout Room, please take a few minutes to introduce yourselves.  Select one person to be the timekeeper.  This person should keep the group moving along according to the time allotments on the worksheet.  This job is crucial, since without it, the group will not complete the experience which the worksheet is designed to bring about.  You won’t need a scribe for today; you are each encouraged to take notes.


This workshop has two main parts and is designed for 1 hour and 30 minutes, including the 10-minute set-up time and two 10-minute breaks.  Please note your start time 1 pm and end time 2:30 pm before beginning.

There isn’t a scheduled faculty-chat today, but I may pop in to join the conversation.  Please shout out and I’ll join if you have any questions.

Also, we won’t have time to discuss your conclusions as a group today, so please keep track of your notes, residual questions, and important conclusions — we will return to these essays and this workshop next week and throughout the semester.


Part One:  Defining key terms  (30 minutes)


Work together with your group to define the following terms and to describe how they are used by the authors.  Please note any terms that you’re struggling to define or understand.


de Beauvoir:

  1. Subject
  2. Other



  1. Patriarchy
  2. Interdependency



  1. Racism



  1. Counter-Storytelling



  1. White Settler Colonialism



  1. Compulsory Heterosexuality


Break (10 minutes)  Please take a break and then reconvene with your small group to complete the last part of the workshop.


Part Two.  Critical Thinking (30 min)


Please work together with your group to answer the following questions.  Please stay close to the texts and refer to them often!  Reminder to take notes.  Although we won’t have time to report out and discuss these questions in the reconvened seminar today, we *will* be coming back to them throughout the semester (and you are encouraged to launch your study group seminar later this week from these starting points).

1.  (5 minutes) Egan presents an accessible summary of how sexuality has been studied since Foucault, and what might be misguided in some of the controversy around his work. What questions do you have about the theorization of sexuality, as briefly outlined here?


2. (5 minutes) According to de Beauvoir, there are several reasons why men are ill-equipped to fully comprehend and elucidate the situation of women.  Work together to list three reasons that she gives for this claim.  After you have made your list, discuss the following re. each reason that de Beauvoir gives:  (1) Do you agree or disagree with this claim? (2) Do you think this claim is as true, more true, or less true now than when de Beauvoir wrote The Second Sex (in 1949)? de Beauvoir re-inscribes a clear gender binary, recognizing only male and female, with no consideration of non-binary genders, a gender spectrum, or other complexity. Do you think this limits the validity of her work?


3.  (5 minutes) Shelley Haley, Luna Castelli, and Margo Hendricks introduce us to Critical Race Theory and counter-storytelling. Please discuss why it might be especially important to bring these tools to our inquiry into gender and sexuality in Ancient Greece, in particular as we study texts conventionally considered key works in the “Classical Western Tradition.”


4.  (10 minutes) Lorde’s essay levels criticism at a conference (held on the work of de Beauvoir, specifically), but her concerns apply more widely. First, take a few minutes to articulate her position in your own words.  Second, discuss why it is important for you – as college students – to reflect (critically) on the culture of academia.


6.  (5 minutes) Lorde makes a statement that is also a call to action. Review the quote below and then use the concluding time in our workshop today to contemplate what it would mean to take this charge seriously.


Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives there. See whose face it wears.


Begin with a few moments of quiet, individual reflection.  Track your thoughts and feelings in writing, if that helps you move into the deep place Lorde references.  Discuss your experience with your group.  (You are encouraged to take up your work here in your Author’s Introduction on Pressbook.)


Please take a 10-minute break at 2:20.  At 2:30, you’ll be brought back to the main Zoom room for our visit from librarians Jennifer Beamer and Adam Rosenkranz.


Gender & Sexuality in Ancient Greece Copyright © by Jody Valentine. All Rights Reserved.

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