Literature

Friendship as Way of Life

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

 

This course will begin with Foucault’s essay, “Friendship as a Way of Life.” It will discuss the contemporary context of new engagements with and interests in friendship. We will then look at differing concepts and practices of friendship, and their work in shaping social sentiments and political affects in Euro-American context. Readings will include Plato, Montaigne, Bray, Marcus, Foucault, and Miller.... Read more about Friendship as Way of Life

Witch Hunts: Persecution in Public History and Ethics

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

This course treats persecution in America as a site of public history and ethics. Focusing on three historical cases—the Salem Witch trials, the Underground Railroad, and Cold War-era McCarthyism—we will explore how hunts for witches, runaway slaves, and communists (along with their fellow travelers) have shaped American political culture.... Read more about Witch Hunts: Persecution in Public History and Ethics

God Save the Queen! Ruling Women from Rome to the Renaissance

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

This seminar will explore female rulership in Europe from the late Roman empire to the age of Elizabeth I. Discussion of varied texts and images (most of them primary sources in translation) will reveal the role of queens within their societies, their relationship to broader social and cultural institutions such as the Christian Church, and the ways in which queens were celebrated, criticized, and imagined by writers and artists of their time.... Read more about God Save the Queen! Ruling Women from Rome to the Renaissance

Introduction to LGBTQ Literature

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

This seminar looks at the expanding range of genres, forms and strategies pursued by modern and contemporary authors who want to represent LGBTQ+- lives, communities, bodies and selves; poems and performances, novels and stories, YA (young adult) fiction and science fiction, memoirs and graphic novels, will all be represented, along with a light frame of what's usually called queer theory and some points of comparison, or contrast, from earlier centuries. Bechdel, Audre Lorde, O'Hara, Whitman, Walden, and many others.... Read more about Introduction to LGBTQ Literature

Shakespeare's Women

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

Rosalind, Portia, Ophelia, Juliet, Isabella, Cressida, Cleopatra, Cordelia, Imogen, Volumnia, Miranda, Lady Macbeth—the women of Shakespeare’s plays have become iconic figures, cited, admired, critiqued, and invoked in every generation. But in the English public theater of Shakespeare’s time no women were permitted to appear onstage.... Read more about Shakespeare's Women

Expository Writing 20: The Femme Fatale

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

The femme fatale—the attractive, seductive woman who brings about the downfall of men—has fascinated us through the ages, from Biblical figures like Eve and Delilah, to historical women such as Cleopatra and Wallis Simpson, to the media personas of modern pop stars like Cardi B and Miley Cyrus. In the classic femme fatale narrative, the woman’s dangerous actions empower her, but she also must submit to the fact that her empowerment renders her a villain. Might this contradiction in the femme fatale’s character reflect tensions in our own evolving understanding of gender? How can the femme fatale character help us untangle the real-world gender problems that modern women and men face?... Read more about Expository Writing 20: The Femme Fatale

Expository Writing 20: Modern Love

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

 

“Reader, I married him.” As this famous line from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre reminds us, writers have long been preoccupied with matters of the heart. Courtship plots are everywhere, from the novels of Jane Austen to the “rom-coms” of the 1980s and 1990s to essays you can find every Sunday in the “Styles” section of the New York Times. For centuries, marriage was primarily an economic relationship, and love outside of marriage ended in humiliation or even death. But what happens when society expands the options for living and loving?... Read more about Expository Writing 20: Modern Love

Modern Women’s Writing and Religion

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

This course explores relationships between 19th- and 20th-century women’s movements and religion by considering spiritual and religious practices in fiction, poetry, and essays by writers including Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Zora Neale Hurston, alongside essays by critics such as Saba Mahmood and theologians such as Katie G. Cannon.

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Expository Writing 20: Telling Her Story: Narrative, Media, and #MeToo

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

 

In a powerful essay, the late writer and activist Audre Lorde suggested, “Where the words of women are crying to be heard we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives.” Lorde is not alone in asking us to pay attention to and take responsibility for women’s stories; for centuries scholars and activists alike have championed the words of women, including women of color and queer women, whose stories have routinely gone untold or unheard.... Read more about Expository Writing 20: Telling Her Story: Narrative, Media, and #MeToo

A La Francaise: French Feminisms Today

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

Close readings of postwar French fiction and theory with emphasis on what is called "the feminine'' in key psychoanalytic, philosophical, and literary writings of the French poststructuralist tradition. In particular, we will focus on fifty years of dialogue between postwar theory in France and feminist practice in the United States. Writers considered include Cixous, Duras, Irigaray, Kristeva, and Wittig as well as Deleuze, Derrida, and Lacan....

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Feminist Utopias

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

In this reading group on Feminist Utopias, we explore literature, essays and history of women’s law reform movements through time. What difference will feminist governance make in society? Is it most effective to reform the current system or to imagine and then build an alternative one? Students will have the opportunity to develop their own concepts for utopian ideals in a sex-equal society....

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Queer (and Queering) Cinema

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

This course seeks to map a history and to expand the boundaries of what is commonly thought of as queer cinema. We will explore LGBTQ films within a variety of frameworks, including but not limited to queer history, theory, and politics, and across a range of modes and genres, from classical Hollywood to the experimental underground.... Read more about Queer (and Queering) Cinema

Queer Fictions

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

 

 

A survey of modern and contemporary twentieth- and twenty-first-century queer French literature. We will begin first with an introduction to some canonical texts in queer theory (e.g. Sedgwick, Butler, Bersani, Warner) and proceed to the fictions (Genet, Guibert, Louis, Leduc, Wittig, Best, Garréta) to see the ways in which literature itself theorizes and does the work of deconstructing identity and desire.

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Against Difference: Monique Wittig's Trojan Horse Writing and Theory

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

French feminism, as it is studied and taught in the Anglo-American academy, is most often associated with the three names that constitute the “Holy Trinity” of Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray, and Julia Kristeva—thinkers whose various theorizations of sexual difference permitted the convergence of an emergent feminist literary criticism with high theory and all its cachet.... Read more about Against Difference: Monique Wittig's Trojan Horse Writing and Theory

Introduction to LGBTQ Literature

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2021

This seminar looks at the expanding range of genres, forms and strategies pursued by modern and contemporary authors who want to represent LGBTQ+- lives, communities, bodies and selves; poems and performances, novels and stories, YA (young adult) fiction and science fiction, memoirs and graphic novels, will all be  represented, along with a light frame of what's usually called queer theory and some points of comparison, or contrast, from earlier centuries. Bechdel, Audre Lorde, O'Hara, Whitman, Walden, and many others.... Read more about Introduction to LGBTQ Literature

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