The second of two parts, the course will continue to explore the theoretical articulation of sex, gender, and sexuality in feminist and queer theory, with attention to the role of other differences – racial, ethnic, religious, and differences in physical ability – in contemporary work. Prerequisite: REL 1572 or consent of the instructor.
What does is it mean to be, or feel as, a woman? This course will survey thirteen major female authors from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who ask these questions in their novels, plays, and essays. In our lectures, we will move through literary explorations of womanhood in Modernism, to Expressionism, the Feminist movements, and on to contemporary questions of trauma, reproductive rights, and the future of feeling like and as a woman.
The explosion of interest in Afrofuturism in the last two decades speaks to an ever more urgent desire to understand how people of color project themselves into narratives of both the future—and the past. Moreover, the work of Afrofuturist intellectuals has been profoundly concerned with matters of gender and sexuality. Indeed, examinations of inter-racial and inter-species “mixing,” alternative family and community structure, and disruptions of gender binaries have been central to Afrofuturist thought. In this course we will examine these ideas both historically and aesthetically, asking how the large interest in Afrofuturism developed from the early part of the twentieth century until now. Focusing primarily on science fiction and fantasy literature, the course will treat a broad range of artists including, W.E.B. DuBois, George Schulyer, Marlon James, Octavia Butler, Andrea Hairston; Nalo Hopkinson; N.K. Jemisin, Nnedi Okorafor, and others.
The twentieth century had its fair share of revolutions—Bolshevik, Young Turk, Iranian, and feminist—that changed the course of history. In each of these revolutions, women and minorities played a key role in fostering change in Russia, Turkey, Iran, and the US. Revolutionaries penned essays, plays, poems, novels, graphic novels, and memoirs about the massive shifts occurring around them. In this course, we will read the work of Armenian women revolutionaries alongside works from the cultures in which they were embedded. We will sit in on conversations about human rights, family structures, economics, religion, culture, language, and sexuality with authors to include: Zabel Yessayan (Ottoman Empire/France/Armenia), Shushanik Kurghinian (Armenia), Alexandra Kollontai (USSR), Marjane Satrapi (France/Iran), Zoya Pirzad (Iran), Nancy Agabian (USA), Audre Lorde (USA), and others. Because all non-English works will be read in translation, no knowledge of Armenian, Farsi, Russian, or Turkish is required.
Women have historically exerted their voice and power through writing, even as the professional writing trades of journalism and publishing have historically been unwelcoming of their presence. This seminar class will examine reporting and writing by and about women, and engage students in the practice of writing about gender, feminism, and women’s lives. Students will produce and workshop their own researched and reported longform articles, while simultaneously inspecting how the media represents women’s issues and learning the history of women writers in American journalism. We will grapple with questions of interviewing, structure, creative expression, ethics, and fair representation, along with the fundaments of narrative nonfiction.