E 314V • Gay & Lesbian Lit & Culture-W
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
E314V: "Gay and Lesbian Literature and Culture" will introduce students to some seminal texts in the queer literary canon and expand students' understandings of literature and sexuality. We will be especially attuned to the following questions: Can we accurately identify a history of gay and lesbian identity? And how might we read simultaneously through our own cultural lens, and with an understanding of the texts historical period? Our readings will be both historical and contemporary, both overtly and covertly queer; we will read canonical and popular literatures, and expand the terms literature and culture by likewise considering film, music, and visual art.
Ultimately, students will assess queer literatures not merely through their subject matter or the public identity of their authors, but also through methods of reading. (That is: how might one "read queerly?")
Two short papers 40% "Close reading" assignment 15% Final research paper 30% Attendance and Participation 15%
Possible texts include: Plato's Symposium; the Biblical accounts of Sodom and Gomorrah, and of Jonathan and David; selected sonnets by Shakespeare; selected poetry by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester; Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Christabel"; Virginia Woolfs Orlando; Quentin Crisps The Naked Civil Servant; Tennessee Williamss Suddenly Last Summer; Gore Vidals Myra Breckenridge; selections from Larry Kramers Faggots and Michael Rumakers A Day and a Night at the Baths; Leslie Feinbergs Stone Butch Blues; selected pieces by David Wojnarowicz and Robert Mapplethorpe; the Hidden Cameras The Smell of Our Own; and Alison Bechdels Fun Home. The instructor will also prepare lectures for each text, introducing students to the given works major themes, cultural relevance, and social context, and incorporating film, images, and music. Accessible critical readings, such as selections from Nikki Sullivans Critical Introduction to Queer Theory, Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittles Transgender Studies Reader, Kate Bornsteins My Gender Workbook, and Riki Wilchinss Queer Theory, Gender Theory, will also inform our reading.