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Kingdoms, Queendoms, and Collectives

Times: T/TH, 12:00 - 1:30 PM CT, 1:00 - 2:30 PM ET

Instructor: Rory Walsh (

Hosting University: University of Michigan

Description:  Gender is an essential component of social organization in most human societies; however, archaeologists often apply modern constructions of gender to the past without appropriate reflection and consideration. The Korean peninsula’s earliest state-level societies provide an ideal case study for the interrogation of gender in the deep past, with evidence of complex gender roles that varied widely among cultures, including whether the authority to rule was carried by queens or kings. This course examines the archaeological record of major social and cultural changes leading to the establishment of kingdoms and queendoms (focusing on the period between 200—600 CE) in Korea, as well as the trajectories of societies that rejected the trend toward centralizing into states. Taking a critical approach to gender as our guide, we will challenge existing assumptions about social order, leadership, economic organization, inequalities, and identities in the formation of Korean civilization.

Participating Universities: Rutgers University & University of Illinois