WGS 393 • Lesbian Genres
12:00 PM-3:00 PM
This course will explore some of the formal features of "lesbian literature," a term we will put under question in our work together. In reading widely over 19th- and 20th-century poetry, dramatic literature and fiction we will ask questions such as the following: What literary genres, if any, seem to attract "lesbian writers" (another term open to definition during the course of the semester, as our authors will include some who are not necessarily or not obviously lesbians)? Can "lesbian writers" be said to have invented or revitalized new literary genres (the fragment, the second-person novel, the mixed genre autobiography, fiction/theory, queer performance)? What are the politics of such an investigation of literary form? Readings will include both standard and experimental works of genre criticism, as well as a wide variety of literary texts (another term understood broadly for the purposes of this course).
Tentative list of texts: Bannon, Beebo Brinker Barnes, Nightwood Bechdel, Dykes to Watch Out For Bridgforth, Love Conjure/Blues Brown, The Terrible Girls Carson, If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho Cunningham, The Hours Feinstein, Stone Butch Blues Hacker, Love, Death and the Changing of the Seasons Hall, The Well of Loneliness Larsen, Passing Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name Mootoo, Cereus Blooms at Night Moraga, Loving in the War Years Rich, Selected Poems (2004) Rule, This is Not For You Stein, Baby Precious Always Shines Woolf, Orlando Selected Poems by Anzaldua, Barrett Browning, Behn, Brooks, Dickinson, Millay, Rossetti, Seward and others.