This panel focuses on gender at the level of the creative body, moving past debates about its origin (as social/biological, performance/essence). Papers address gender as a bodily feeling, and explore its power to move us.
Political commentators in Western countries have announced that we are in the midst of a gender revolution. Growing communities of people creatively express and negotiate their gender, often drawing on anthropological examples of cross-cultural variation. Theories about the origins of gender have been tied to binaries of gender/sex, imagined/material, performance/essence, and social/biological. This panel instead looks to the creative body to address the ways we feel our gender and how these feelings move us. This is not only a question for those who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth; everyone has a sense of their own gender. Anthropology is uniquely positioned to address the power of gendered bodily feelings, which are always material and tied up with social relations. This panel brings together papers spanning how gender is imagined, represented, and communicated, with embodied insights from phenomenology, feminist epistemologies, and affect studies.