Fall 2012 Courses

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017. The Sexual Life of Colonialism: Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial World
Durba Mitra T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Chase Barn Chamber
Explores histories of state control of sexuality and intimacy in the non-Western world in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Addresses different forms of sexuality including interracial relationships between colonizers and the colonized, queer and same-sex desires, sexual outcasts like prostitutes, and the lives of transgender individuals. Readings cover histories of gender and sexuality in the Arab-Islamic world, colonial South Asia, and colonial sub-Saharan Africa.
027. From Flowers of Evil to Pretty Woman: Prostitutes in Modern Western Culture
Jill Smith M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-207
Explores the myriad ways that prostitutes have been represented in modern Western culture from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. By analyzing literary texts, visual artworks, and films from Europe and the United States, examines prostitution as a complex urban phenomenon and a vehicle through which artists and writers grapple with issues of labor, morality, sexuality, and gender roles. Introduces students to a variety of literary, artistic, musical, and filmic genres, as well as to different disciplinary approaches to the study of prostitution. Authors, artists, and film directors may include Baudelaire, Toulouse-Lautrec, Kirchner, Brecht/Weill, Pabst, Marshall, Scorsese, Spielmann, and Sting.
028. Queer Gardens
Terri Nickel M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-202
Explores how the garden in Western literature and art serves as a space for desire. Pays special attention to the link between gardens and transgression. Also considers how gardens become eccentric spaces and call into question distinctions between nature and culture. Examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces. Reconsiders one of the founding myths of Western culture: the idea of a lost Eden. Authors and gardeners may include Marvell, Lanyer, Pope, Seward, Dickinson, Burnett, Carroll, Sackville-West, Nichols, Jarman, and Pollan.
116. Christian Sexual Ethics
Elizabeth Pritchard T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Kanbar Hall-107
An examination of the themes, varieties, and conflicts of Christian teachings and practices regarding sex and sexuality. Source materials include the Bible, historical analyses, Church dogmatics, legal cases, and ethnographic studies. Topics include celibacy and marriage, the development and status of sexual orientations, natural law, conversion therapy, reproductive rights and technologies, and comparative religious ethics.
200. Sex and the Word: Psychoanalysis and Literature
Peter Coviello T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
Seminar. In its founding, psychoanalysis—Freud’s ambivalently “scientific” framework for explicating desire—was an art of interpretation. Examines the things sex, literature, and interpretation might have to say to one another; particularly close attention paid to how psychoanalytic reading has developed as a vocabulary for describing the enlivening errancies of literary artifacts. Writers likely to include Freud, James, Cather, Larsen, Baldwin, Roth, and others.
201. Gay and Lesbian Studies
David Collings M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Mass Hall-McKeen Study
An introduction to the materials, major themes, and defining methodologies of gay and lesbian studies. Considers in detail both the most visible contemporary dilemmas involving homosexuality (queer presence in pop culture, civil rights legislation, gay-bashing, AIDS, identity politics) as well as the great variety of interpretive approaches these dilemmas have, in recent years, summoned into being. Such approaches borrow from the scholarly practices of literary and artistic exegesis, history, political science, feminist theory, and psychoanalysis—to name only a few. An abiding concern over the semester is to discover how a discipline so variously influenced conceives of and maintains its own intellectual borders. Course materials include scholarly essays, journalism, films, novels, and a number of lectures by visiting faculty.
202. Victorian Urban Narratives
Aviva Briefel T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
Seminar. An exploration of London as space and character in Victorian literary narratives. Considers such topics as the intersections between identity and urban setting; the relationship between genre and literary space; and the overlaps in mappings of cities and narrative. Consideration of literary and cultural theory and criticism is central. Authors may include Conrad, Dickens, Dixon, Doyle, Gissing, Marsh, and Wilde.
210. Global Sexualities, Local Desires
Krista Van Vleet T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Sills-207
Explores the variety of practices, performances, and ideologies of sexuality through a cross-cultural perspective. Focusing on contemporary anthropological scholarship on sexuality and gender, asks whether Western conceptions of “sexuality,” “sex,” and “gender” help us understand the lives and desires of people in other social and cultural contexts. Topics may include Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (travestí), intersexuality, and the naturalization of sex; “third gendered” individuals and religion in Native North America, India, and Chile; language and the performance of sexuality by drag queens in the United States; transnationalism and the global construction of “gay” identity in Indonesia; lesbian and gay kinship; AIDS in Cuba and Brazil; and Japanese Takarazuka theater. In addition to ethnographic examples of alternative genders and sexualities (so called “third genders” and non-heterosexual sexualities) in both Western and non-Western contexts, also presents the major theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches used by anthropologists to understand sexuality, and considers how shifts in feminist and queer politics have also required anthropologists to focus on other social differences such as class, race, ethnicity, and post-colonial relations.
212. Gender, Sexuality and Schooling
Doris Santoro T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-406
Schools are sites where young people learn to “do” gender and sexuality through direct instruction, the hidden curriculum, and peer-to-peer learning. In schools, gender and sexuality are challenged, constrained, constructed, normalized, and performed. Explores instructional and curricular reforms that have attempted to address students’ and teachers’ sexual identities and behavior. Examines the effects of gender and sexual identity on students’ experience of school, their academic achievement, and the work of teaching. Topics may include Compulsory Heterosexuality in the Curriculum; The Gender of the Good Student and Good Teacher; Sex Ed in an Age of Abstinence.
244. Victorian Crime
Aviva Briefel T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-117
Investigates literary representations of criminality in Victorian England. Of central concern is the construction of social deviancy and criminal types; images of disciplinary figures, structures, and institutions; and the relationship between generic categories (the detective story, the Gothic tale, the sensation novel) and the period’s preoccupation with transgressive behavior and crime. Authors may include Braddon, Collins, Dickens, Doyle, Stevenson, and Wells.
265. Interracial Narratives
Guy Foster T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-109
Examines the stories that Americans have told about intimate relationships that cross the color line in twentieth- and twenty-first-century imaginative and theoretical texts. Considers how these stories have differed according to whether the participants are heterosexual or homosexual, men or women, Black, White, Asian, Latino, or indigenous. Explores the impact historically changing notions of race, gender, sexuality, and U.S. citizenship have had on the production of these stories. Texts include literature, film, Internet dating sites, and contemporary debates around mixed-race identity and the United States census.
346. Philosophy of Gender: Sex and Love
Sarah Conly T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Searles-127
Issues of sex and love preoccupy us but may not be well understood. Considers what “counts” as having sex, why that matters, and what it is to love someone. These and other relevant topics explored through readings and discussion.