This course explores the dynamics of gender, sexuality, and sexual identity as expressed in literature. Students explore literary texts that address the intellectual, social, cultural, political, and philosophical contexts from which gendered and sexual identities emerge and in which they are contested or negotiated. The course addresses some or all of the following topics in any given semester: sexual politics and power; the relation of imperialism and racism to questions of gender; and the influence of gender on writing as an act of self-definition and political or social identification. The course may emphasize material from the historical literary tradition or contemporary authors. It may also address identities comparatively or focus on a specific category of identity as it emerges or develops over time. Satisfies a Gender Studies elective. Themes and texts vary by instructor; please see department website for current information.
Prerequisites: ENGL 220 and one course from ENGL 221-239 strongly recommended.