The Sex of Things|
|Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory|
This readings seminar will critically examine the ways that material culture has shaped the social and cultural construction of sex, gender, and sexuality in Modern America. We will begin by "rereading" selections from social theorists such as Karl Marx, Raymond Williams, Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michel Foucault to gain insight into the processes that "fetishize" objects as desirable, alluring, or grotesque. The class will then survey particular genres of material culture (fashion, art, the decorative arts, technology, and consumer products) to understand how physical objects communicate sex, gender, eroticism, and racial difference. We will explore how everyday consumer products like the car, Tupperware, clothing, and cosmetics facilitated or restricted sexual expression and the formation of gendered and queered identities. Students will be introduced to scholarly studies that evaluate the eroticism of statues, paintings, and artistic reproductions; interrogate the role medical devices played in regulating or liberating the body (the speculum, birth control devices, menstrual technology, plastic surgery, Viagra); and analyze the subversive potential of sexual paraphernalia (Bondage, various sex toys, and other forms of erotica).
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Selections from social theorists such as Karl Marx, Raymond Williams, Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu, and Michel Foucault.
Rachel Maines, THE TECHNOLOGY OF ORGASM: "HYSTERIA," THE VIBRATOR, AND WOMEN'S SEXUAL SATISFACTION (1999).
Kathleen M. Brown, FOUL BODIES: CLEANLINESS IN EARLY AMERICA (2009)
Meika Loe, THE RISE OF VIAGRA: HOW THE LITTLE BLUE PILL CHANGED SEX IN AMERICA (2004)
Alison Clarke, TUPPERWARE: THE PROMISE OF PLASTIC IN 1950S AMERICA (1999)
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Short Analytical Paper
|Instructor(s): Hoffman,Brian Scott Times: .....F. 01:10PM-04:00PM; Location: CAMS 1; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 15||SR major: 6||JR major: 6|| || |
|Seats Available: 1||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 1||JR non-major: 2||SO: 0||FR: X|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 4||1st Ranked: 1||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 3|