Welcome: Introductions

Please add a sentence or two or three about your hopes and expectations for this course.  Which texts or issues do you most look forward to?

 Stanford students: please choose pseudonym and add your text right in this box below the last post; online visitors: please leave us a comment in the Comments section underneath!

-Hi everyone, I’m petradt (the teacher of this course).  I’ve been teaching at Stanford for three years, and my main interests are fin-de-siecle and modernist literature and cultural studies, as well as feminist and queer studies. I don’t really have a favorite text or topic in this course, but one unit I’m always delighted to teach is the Sexology/Uranianism/Inversion one (in Week 3).  We’ll be reading medical texts from the late 19th century, and although they feel dated to us today in some ways, they also contain outreageous ideas and arguments that are, astonishingly, still around in our own time.  You can’t understand queer issues in society today if you don’t know this history, and so this “blast from the past” will prove very instructive, I hope.

Hi everyone,

I am excited to read all the text we have ahead of us and learn about how they influence queer literature. I am also excited to learn about the responses to those books at the time they were published! Should be great!

– A.C.T.

Hey everyone,

I am really excited to explore these texts with you all and think about what “makes” a text “queer.” I was really excited to learn about Oscar Wilde because I haven’t been exposed to his work and life until now and I really enjoyed our discussions about him. Looking forward to Monsieur Venus!


Hi everyone,

I’m looking forward to the rest of this class, and thinking about how the “queer” identity intersects with other identities — and I’ve heard good things about M. Butterfly so I’m particularly excited about that.


Hey everyone!

I am really looking forward to reading our texts with a focus on the importance (or lack of importance) of the author’s identity, politics, and purpose on our understandings of the texts and their meaning and historical significance.


Hello everybody!
I’m am looking forward to exploring how we as readers can recontextualize literature to make it personally significant or relevant to modern social topics (like queerness). I really enjoyed our discussion on Dorian Gray and am excited to explore issues of gender and sexuality in a variety of works with such a great group of people.

I’m excited to see these texts in conversation and see if there are any recurring themes that the authors continually bring up, or that the readers continually identify in the texts.


I focus on intersections of sexuality and political resistance in twentieth-century prose, so I’m interested in exploring the queer canon—or whether there is such a thing as canonicity. I also think that queer theory is a useful lens for challenging any range of master narratives, so I look forward to further fruitful discussions about how such theories impact approaches to literature, history, criticism, and beyond.


Hi All!

I’m really interested in expanding my knowledge of queer authors and queer oriented texts, and hope to see where that intersects with other aspects of literature.



My primary academic interest is “contemporary continental” philosophical thought. I have recently concerned myself with radical cultural critique (e.g. the work of Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek) as a paradigm for a type of ‘gestural’ political maneuver aimed at jump-starting large-scale social reinvention through dialogue and the imagination (regardless of the ‘concrete proposals’ offered therein). I look forward to exploring “queer” texts as public acts with the potential to destabilize dominant conceptions of identity, opening up new social spaces for ethical action that might assist us in moving past the catastrophes of the twentieth century.


Hi all,

I am coming into this class with hardly any background in reading queer texts aside from a high school venture into Virginia Woolf, but I am looking forward to exploring the importance of the author’s identity and how that affects our interpretations of their texts and the texts’ place in history.



With little background in queer literature (or comparative literature in general), I look forward to examining the nuances that make a text “queer.” Specifically, I’m eager to continue viewing these texts through the Butler lens, examining gender and sexuality as a subconscious performance, since I spend many a day cloistered in the darkness of theatres. Perhaps “M. Butterfly” will continue the conversation of performativity. I also hope to use this blog to challenge myself by adding some creative responses along with my analytical ones.


Hello! I really love that we began the course with a discussion of how and where one can locate queerness within a text. That question is what I most look forward to exploring within these works: where does queerness originate within cultural products, and what ought we to do with it? Besides my interest in queerness, French culture (French-ness?) is another fascination of mine, so I’m especially looking forward to our discussion of Monsieur Vénus as well as Giovanni’s Room to try to better understand Paris as fertile ground for the production of queer texts by authors from all backgrounds and time periods. – EE

Hi all! I sadly have had very little exposure to literature since starting at Stanford and so I’m looking to rekindle my former passion for reading and analyzing great books. I’m particularly interested in analyzing how thoughts towards queerness in modern society were foreshadowed in classical texts and how many of the same debates we are having today similarly materialized centuries ago.

– Martina Navratilova


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