May 30, 2024  
Catalogue 2024-2025 
    
Catalogue 2024-2025
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WFQS 218 - Literature, Gender, and Sexuality

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)
(Same as ENGL 218 ) Topic for 2024/25a: Feminist, Queer and Trans Theory: History and Practice. In this course, we trace the lineages connecting feminist theory, queer theory, and trans theory, and learn how to apply each of these lenses in interpretations of literary texts. Charting how and when these three theories emerged in academic discourse, we consider their respective attempts to uncover and complicate cultural assumptions about embodiment, gender and sexuality. This course is both a practical guide—how do I do a queer or trans reading of a text?—and an intellectual history, revealing how queer theory emerged both from and against feminist theory, and how trans theory later emerged through a similar combination of affinity and dissent. In unfolding this history, we identify key overlaps and tensions across these theories, and distill current debates in the field of gender and sexuality studies: between conceptions of gender as a constructed role, and as an inner experience; and between the imperatives of culture and the body. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is our test case for practicing these three critical approaches, and we also read a range of literary and cultural texts, from poetry to film. This course is relevant to students in English, as well as in Media Studies, Women, Feminist & Queer Studies, and other disciplines centered around critical practice. Katie Gemmill.

Prerequisite(s): Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with one unit of 100-level work or by permission of the associate chair.

This course satisfies the REGS requirement for the English major.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS



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