Spring 2009 not offered
This seminar focuses on major texts and trends in the field of queer theory. Queer theory is a heterogeneous mix of arguments to the effect that society uses sexuality to identify and regulate bodies and races. We will read queerness, not as an identifiable sexuality, but as a disruptive political tool that resists knowledge and power. Queer theory entails not only exposing sexuality as discourse, mimicry, language, or performance, but also exposes the degree to which individuals and society depend on and disavow sexuality for purposes of reproducing themselves. We will bring these theoretical considerations to bear, more specifically, on the questions of how U.S. political discourse uses sex to regulate race, kinship, and biological reproduction and why it necessarily fails in this endeavor. We'll also read for how queerness is a feeling, suspicion, and literary devise rather than an identity.
to be determined
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Michel Foucault, THE HISTORY OF SEXUALITY, VOL. I
David Halperin, Saint Foucault, Michael Warner, ed., FEAR OF A QUEER PLANET
Leo Bersani, HOMOS
Judith Butler, GENDER TROUBLE
Lee Edelman, HOMOGRAPHESIS
Nella Larsen, PASSING
Henry James, THE TURN OF THE SCREW
|Examinations and Assignments: |
One two-page paper and two ten-page papers.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Attendance and regular participation is essential and expected. This course counts toward the English department's theory requirement. I strongly recommend and will give preference to students who have taken literary and cultural theory courses or have done other course work on feminism/sexuality/gender. Although this is not a POI (Permission of Instructor) course, you can expect the readings to be high-level and demanding. Fulfills the research option requirement for English honors candidates.
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