English 250

Research Seminar: Gender, Sexuality, Modernism


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Fall 2017 Abel, Elizabeth
Thurs. 3:30-6:30 102 Barrows

Book List

Baldwin, James: Giovanni's Room; Barnes, Djuna: Nightwood; Bechdel, Alison: Fun Home; James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Nelson, Maggie: The Argonauts; Stein, Gertrude: Tender Buttons; Toibin, Colm: The Master; Truong, Monique: The Book of Salt; Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray; Woolf, Virginia: Mrs. Dalloway; Woolf, Virginia: Orlando;

Recommended: Butler, Judith: Gender Trouble; Foucault, Michel: The History of Sexuality (Volume 1); Nutt, Amy Ellis: Becoming Nicole; Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky: Epistemology of the Closet

Other Readings and Media

Critical essays, short fiction, plays and poetry will be available on our b-Courses.

Description

“Is queer modernism simply another name for modernism?” The question Heather Love poses in her special issue of PMLA will also guide this seminar on the crossovers between formal and sexual “deviance” in modernist literature. We will read back and forth across a century (Henry James to Colm Toibin, James Joyce to Alison Bechdel, Oscar Wilde to Yinka Shonibare, Virginia Woolf to Caryl Churchill, Gertrude Stein to Monique Truong) to stage a series of encounters between the aesthetic practices  and discourses of modernism and those of contemporary queer theory and cultural production.  As we map the shifting contours of some key forms and terms, we will pause to consider (among other things) the mobile dimensions of queer time and space; the historical migration of concepts such as perversion, inversion, masquerade, transvestism, abjection, and shame; the mutual implication of race, gender, and sexuality; the formal attributes of the closet; the legibility of transgender bodies; and the composition of affective histories. To complement (and complicate) the chronological axis of this inquiry, we will also attend to the metropolitan spaces in which sexual boundaries blurred and subcultures thrived, especially the three urban sites central to modernist experimentation: London, New York, and Paris.  

This course satisfies the Group 5 (20th Century) requirement.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

spring, 2020

250/1

Research Seminar: Ways of Knowing, Ways of Representing in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction

250/2

Research Seminar: Black Cultures of Gender and Sexuality

250/3

Research Seminar: Critique of Capitalism, or Reading Marx Now

fall, 2019

250/1

Research Seminar: The English Department

250/2

Research Seminar: Transcendentalism

spring, 2019

250/1

Research Seminar: Philosophical Idealizations of Art and Modernist Practices

fall, 2018

250/3

Research Seminar: Textual Communities and the Modern

250/4

Research Seminar: Evolution and Literary Form, 1800-1900

spring, 2018

250/2

Research Seminar: Ways of Knowing, Ways of Representing in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction

250/3

Research Seminar: Milton and the English Civil War

250/4

Research Seminar: The Rhetoric of Technique

250/5

Research Seminar: Black Abstraction

fall, 2017

250/1

Research Seminar: Victorian Cultural Studies

250/2

Research Seminar: How to Write a Book

250/3

Research Seminar: Paranoid States: Empire and the Rise of the Surveillance State

spring, 2017

250/1

Research Seminar: Wordsworth and Coleridge in Collaboration

250/2

Research Seminar: Modernism in Poetry and in Art

250/3

Research Seminar: Idols and Ideology—Readings in Augustine, Milton, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Hobbes, Kant, Marx, Freud, Althusser


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