English 171

Literature and Sexual Identity: Postcolonial Sex

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2016 Saha, Poulomi
MWF 3-4 109 Dwinelle

Book List

Forster, E. M.: A Passage to India; Foucault, Michel: The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1; Keller, Nora Okja: Comfort Woman; Selvadurai, Shyam: Funny Boy: A Novel


This course will explore the intersection of theories of gender and sexuality and the postcolonial world. We will consider how gender and nation are shaped and represented in literature and film. Why are nations routinely imagined as women, and imperial dominion expressed in terms of sexual conquest? Western academic models of gender and sexuality provide one set of frameworks by which to discuss desires, identities, and affects—in this class we will ask how well they travel to a postcolonial context. How do theories, practices, and identity categories translate? What do they elide? What do they take as “natural”? We will suggest alternative frameworks for describing sexuality around the world and for exploring non-Western literary representations of non-normative gender identities and sexualities.

This section of English 171 is cross-listed with LGBT 100 section 1.

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