Spring 2012 Courses

111. Introduction to LGBTQ Fiction
Guy Foster M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Using an intersectional reading approach, students closely analyze both classic and more contemporary lesbigay, trans, and queer fictional texts of the last one hundred years. Students consider the historically and culturally changing ways that sexuality has been understood within popular, medical, as well as religious discourses. And because gender conflict and the tendency to analogize the struggles of sexual and racial minorities are key features of this literary tradition, students are expected to engage this subject matter sensitively and critically. Possible texts include: The Well of Loneliness, Giovanni’s Room, Rubyfruit Jungle, A Single Man, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, and The Limits of Pleasure.
221. Race and Sexuality in Modern America
Tristan Cabello T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Surveys the history of race and sexuality as important intersecting categories that organize life and politics in the United States since the early twentieth century. The focus will be on the development of racial and sexual classifications, and on the ways Americans embraced, resisted, and transformed the normative dimensions of those categories. Readings and discussions will address the shifting relationship between social norms and marginal or deviant people and communities. Course materials include sociological, historical and cultural analyses, media articles, visual texts, and fiction. Topics explored include: the politics of respectability in communities of color; definitions of sexual freedom; marital norms; interracial marriage; sexual coercion; HIV/AIDS; sex and race in American cinema, race and gay communities and the sexual politics of social movements both left and right.
229. Science, Sex, and Politics
David Hecht M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Examines the intersection of science, sex, and politics in twentieth-century United States history. Issues of sex and sexuality have been contested terrain over the past hundred years, as varying conceptions of gender, morality, and “proper” sexual behavior have become politically and socially controversial. Explores the way that science has impacted these debates—often as a tool by which activists of varying political and intellectual persuasions have attempted to use notions of scientific objectivity and authority to advance their agendas. Explores debates over issues such as birth control, eugenics, abortion, and the “gay gene.”
241. Victorian Race and Empire
Aviva Briefel T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines Victorian constructions of racial difference and imperial relationships in literary texts ranging from the 1830s to the fin de siècle. Of central concern will be issues of representation and racialized identity; fantasies about nationhood and colonialism; narratives of “adventure” at home and abroad; and images of gender and sexuality. Literary criticism central to discussions. Authors may include C. Brontë, Conrad, Doyle, Du Maurier, Haggard, Kipling, Marsh, and F. A. Steel.
275. Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Eastern Europe
Kristen Ghodsee M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. Examines the current scholarship on gender and sexuality in modern Eastern Europe: the countries of the former Soviet Union, the successor states of Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Albania. Focusing on research produced by academics based in the region, examines the dialogue and interchange of ideas between East and West, and how knowledge about the region is dialectically produced by both Western feminists and East European gender studies scholars. Topics include the women question before 1989; nationalism, fertility, and population decline; patterns and expectations for family formation; the politics of EU gender mainstreaming; visual representations in television and film; social movements; work; romance and intimacy; spirituality; and the status of academic gender studies in the region.
319. James Baldwin
Guy Foster M 6:30 - 9:25
Examines the major postwar writings of the controversial African American author and the role his fiction and nonfiction played in challenging that era’s static understandings of racial, gender, and sexual politics. Although Baldwin lived abroad for much of his life, many critics associate the author narrowly with the U.S. black civil rights and sexual liberation struggles. In recent years, however, Baldwin has increasingly been recognized as a transnational figure and for his invaluable contributions to the discourse of globalization. Indeed, Baldwin’s “geographical imagination,” one informed by critical racial literacy, led him to anticipate many of the central insights of contemporary Queer Studies, Whiteness Studies, as well as Africana philosophical thought.
337. Queer Child
Peter Coviello T 1:00 - 3:55
Considers questions of desire, violence, and sexual identity in relation to a concept often understood to be defined by the absence of precisely those things: the child. We will ask: Is queer childhood only ever a notion assembled in retrospect? What kinds of relation obtain between queer adults and the children they were, and the children who come after them? What makes children queer? Readings may include James, McCullers, Woolf, Freud, Foucault, as well as the work of much contemporary queer scholarship.