chose the anthropology of masculinity and war, you could use Kristin Monroe’s article from the syllabus and then just find four other peer-reviewed articles in anthropology to look at. You could try searching for masculinity and war on jstor and use the search tools to limit your search results to anthropology and journal articles. Or you could use anthrosource, although I find their search algorithm to be fussier. Read the abstracts of numerous articles and choose the ones that are most relevant to your topic. Then double check that they were written by anthropologists or published in anthropology journals like Cultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, or American Ethnologist.
Once you have found five anthropological articles that all focus on your topic, read through them all and try to figure out what you want to say about that particular literature. Remember, a literature review about the anthropology of masculinity and war is not just a paper on masculinity and war. Instead, you need to make an argument about the state of existing anthropological research on the topic. Maybe you will find that current writing on the topic falls into two categories and develop a thesis about how these two categories could be combined. Or perhaps you’ll find that they all share a certain core approach to the topic, and conclude that either something else is missing or that this is a promising direction to go in. The example literature review should help you with this. your final paper will consist of a literature review on a topic related to gender. This is intended as an opportunity for students to explore an area of the anthropology of gender related to their own work or interests. The goal is to research how a topic has been approached differently by different authors within the discipline. As such, while the paper is primarily a summary and does not require any independent original research, you should still have an argument about how the various authors compare and contrast to one another. Students must choose a topic and then summarize how it has been written about by anthropologists. You should choose 5-7 different authors to cover in your paper, and at least one article or book by each author. They can be authors from the syllabus or not, but if you choose authors from the syllabus please do not force them into a topic that isn’t a good fit. For example, if you are writing about plastic surgery and gender, Edmonds and Plemons would both be excellent choices. But you would need to find your other authors from outside of the syllabus, as none of the other works are focused on that. While Emily Martin’s work is related given her approaches to the body and identity, they are not a good fit for a paper on
how plastic surgery is discussed in the anthropology of gender. Topics should be fairly concrete. While you don’t have to choose a topic we covered in class, we can look to some of our readings as examples. You could absolutely do a literature review on the relationship between gender and plastic surgery or masculinity and video games, for example. But in contrast, masculinity would be much too broad of a topic for a paper of this length. I encourage you to focus on something related to your own work. My hope is that you can then use this paper and the citations in your other writing. One of the most difficult parts of writing a literature review is identifying whether the author of a random journal article or book is part of the field of anthropology, and counts as a meaningful contributor to the discourse on a certain topic. For the purposes of this paper, any peer-reviewed article or book written by an individual with a PhD in anthropology is fine, although you are still encouraged to use discretion in figuring out which articles are really at the heart of a topic. If you would like to include something written by an author who is not an anthropologist, just email me and I can confirm if it’s alright. This is not meant to make more work for you, but to instead help you assess whether readings are really relevant to this class.
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