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Spring 2009

WGS 340 • Courtesans In Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47848 TTh
5:00 PM-6:30 PM
GAR 3.116
Petievich

Course Description

In this course we will look at the profiles and practices of courtesans across several cultures and timesdevadasis from South India, tawa'ifs of northern India, geisha from Japan, singers and poetesses of Chinas and Japans "floating world," even the legendary cortigiani of Venice. Readings will be drawn from a variety of texts (autobiography, biography, novel, poetic texts, letters and scholarly essays) and will consider the social role of courtesans as women and as performers, the arts they cultivated and disseminated from generation to generation, and various debates surrounding their social position. Class discussion will be directed toward how we ought to understand who and what these special women are/were.

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