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Grant number: AQ-229066-15

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Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3858)
Martha Bayles (Project Director: September 2014 to present)

NEH Enduring Questions Course on Virtue and Gender

The development and teaching of a new senior seminar to explore the relationship between virtue and gender.

The question of virtue lies at the heart of every civilization. So does the question of gender. Historically in the West, some virtues, such as bodily strength, courage in battle, self-control, rational intellect, and leadership, have been considered masculine and superior to other virtues considered feminine, such as modesty, industry, frugality, nurturing, and obedience. Is this correlation of virtues and gender natural, rooted in biological sex; or is it conventional, part of a socially constructed and unjust system of gender roles? Further, how does the Western debate over these questions compare with the one currently raging in the Islamic world? These questions will be addressed through a wide range of religious, philosophical, literary, and scientific works from both traditions.

Project fields:
Western Civilization

Enduring Questions: Pilot Course Grants

Education Programs

Total amounts:
$22,000 (approved)
$22,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2015 – 12/31/2017