This is subject to occasional revision as needed. Please make sure you check back here regularly for readings and announcements; all important changes and links to some of the reading and assignment materials will be there.
Monday, 1/7 Introduction to course: Readers and Reading
Walt Whitman, “Recorders Ages Hence” and “When I Heard at the Close of the Day”; Michael Field, “A Pen-Drawing of Leda” (handouts in class)
Wednesday, 1/9 What Is a (Queer) Author? What Is a (Queer) Text?
Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” (pdf); Judith Butler, “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory” (pdf)
Monday, 1/14 Epistemologies of the Closet (Novel): Doppelgängers, Dandies, Decadents
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Preface and ch.1-11 (pp. 17-159); recommended (not required): Gary Schmidgall’s foreword.
Wednesday, 1/16 Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, chapters 12-20 (pp. 160-235); Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, “Wilde, Nietzsche, and the Sentimental Relations of the Male Body” (pdf)
Monday, 1/21 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (no class)
Wednesday, 1/23 Queer Cultural Studies and Literature: 19th-Century Scientific Theories of Homosexuality, Legal Developments
Sexology/Uranianism/Inversion handout (pdf); Havelock Ellis, excerpt from Studies in the Psychology of Sex (pdf); Edward Carpenter, from Homogenic Love (pdf)
Monday, 1/28 Narrative (As) Cross-Dressing: Transgender, S/M, Decadent Utopia
Rachilde, Monsieur Venus, preface and chapters 1-9 (pp. 1-120). Recommended but not required: Introduction to Monsieur Venus. Also recommended: Susan Stryker, “An Introduction to Transgender Terms and Concepts” from Transgender History (pdf).
Wednesday, 1/30 Rachilde, Monsieur Venus, chapters 10-17 (pp. 120-210); Marjorie Garber, “Spare Parts: The Surgical Construction of Gender” (pdf)
EXERCISE #1 DUE BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON SUNDAY, 2/3
Monday, 2/4 Homosexuality and the Influence of Wilde in Russia
Mikhail Kuzmin, Wings (Russia, 1906). Read whole novella, please.
Wednesday, 2/6 Modern Lesbian Literature and Censorship: Lesbian Literary Landmarks
Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (read excerpts, TBA); Jack Halberstam, chapter on Radclyffe Hall from Female Masculinity (pdf). Recommended: Teresa de Lauretis, “Sexual Indifference and Lesbian Representation” (pdf)
Monday, 2/11 Forms, Contents, Styles of Queer Transgression
Tim Dean, “The Erotics of Transgression” (pdf)
Gertrude Stein, “Composition as Explanation” (1926) (pdf–this pdf also includes “What Are Masterpieces and Why Are There So Few of Them?”, which is voluntary reading–take at least a brief glance at it)
Djuna Barnes, excerpts from The Book of Repulsive Women (pdf); excerpts from The Ladies Almanack (pdf)
Wednesday, 2/13 The Paris Left Bank scene: Lesbian salons, literature, culture in the 1920s
(Finish Djuna Barnes discussion today–make sure you bring all the Barnes texts again for today). Show excerpts from the documentary Paris Was a Woman in class.
Read Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman” (pdf)
EXERCISE #2 DUE: TWITTER CONVO WITH THE PUBLIC, add your contributions under #queerlit on FRIDAY, 2/15, all day; topic:
A VALENTNE TO QUEER LITERATURE AND FILM: FAMOUS OR FAVORITE QUEER WRITER, DIRECTOR, TEXT, OR FILM OF ANY PERIOD, ANY GENRE, ANY COUNTRY (tweet queer texts/author/director/film names all day)
Monday, 2/18 President’s Day (no class)
Wednesday, 2/20 Intersections of Race, Gender, Sexuality
James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room (read whole novel)
Monday, 2/25 The Drama of “Identity”
Finish up Giovanni’s Room discussion — please bring novel to class again today. (30 minutes)
Rest of class session: Henry David Hwang, M. Butterfly (read whole play). Recommended to watch (not required): film M. Butterfly (dir. David Cronenberg, starring Jeremy Irons and John Lone).
Wednesday, 2/27 International Queer Writers, Identity Politics in a Global Comparative Context
Taiwanese queer fiction: Chu T’ien-Wen: “Bodhisativa Incarnate”; Chu T’ien-Hsin, “A Story of Spring Butterflies”
Monday, 3/4 Cherrie Moraga, Selections from A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness: Writings, 2000-2010
Wednesday, 3/6 Contemporary Queer Memoir
Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (read entire graphic novel).
Monday, 3/11 Class conference/final paper or project workshop
Wednesday, 3/13 Course review and celebration
FINALS WEEK, 3/18-22:
FINAL PAPERS AND PROJECTS DUE (for those of you writing them) on Monday, 3/18, by midnight. Please email as Word or .pdf to email@example.com, or send me notice that you have posted the final version of your project on our class blog.