ENGL 391
Contemporary North American Queer Literatures and Theories Fall 2024
Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 391

Class Details

Moving through the mid-twentieth century and into the twenty-first, this course will consider how North American writers have represented queer life in all its complexities. From the problem of the happy ending to the intersectional politics of representation, the narrative complexities of coming out to the rejection of identity, the course will consider the relationship between literary form and queer content. In so doing, it will also touch upon some of the key debates in queer literary theory and consider the impact of events such as civil rights movements, gay and lesbian and trans uprisings, the AIDS crisis, debates over respectability politics, and current efforts to police what students read in schools on literary and cultural production. Readings may include work by such authors as Baldwin, Highsmith, Rich, Lorde, Delany, Kushner, Feinberg, Bechdel, Thom, and Machado and theorists such as Ferguson, Sedgwick, Fawaz, Love, Butler, and Hartman.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 1647
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, several short writing assignments, two 5-page papers, and one longer research paper.
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam, or permission of the instructor;
Enrollment Preferences: English majors; WGSS majors
Distributions: Division I Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 391 Division II ENGL 391 Division I
DPE Notes: This course considers the history and literature of gender and sexuality in the US alongside questions of race, class, and more. It examines how literary form theorizes sexuality, and how sexuality affects literary form, in ways that consider (in)equity and power in a variety of contexts.
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses
ENGL Literary Histories C
WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses
WGSS Theory Courses

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