English and Film Studies

ENGL 220 B1: Reading Politics: Gender and Sexuality

T. Tomsky

This course introduces students to the theory, history, and critique of gender and sexuality, as well as the way these categories intersect with constructions of race and class. Of particular interest in this course is the way that literature, film, and popular culture respond to the complex notions of gender and sexuality. The theories, literature and visual media examined in this course explore representations and the constructions of gender and sexuality; they expose and critique the values, ideologies, and normative ideals, including the ‘naturalness’ and ‘fixity,’ inherent in notions of femininity, masculinity, heterosexuality, marriage, and the (nuclear) family; in relation to these categories, they suggest alternative vocabularies, politics, and possibilities in the context of contemporary capitalism, class and work divisions, globalization, injustices, and oppression.

Tentative Reading List (Primary Texts):

Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979)
Justin Torres, We the Animals (2011)
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy (1994)
Dorothy Allison, Bastard out of Carolina (1992)
Emmanuel Dongala, Johnny Mad Dog (2006)

Kent Monkman, select artworks available in e-class
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts (2015) 

Select theoretical texts.