For this final paper, you have to come up with your own topic and argument. You should choose one (or possibly two) literary/visual texts from this semester, and discuss them in relation to one of the theoretical concepts we have read about this semester. The theoretical component should make use of TWO theoretical texts; one that we have read this semester, and one extra one that I will help you choose. There might be an idea that came up in discussion (I have mentioned ‘cruel optimism’ and ‘counterpublics’ in class, for example) or in The Argonauts that you want to explore further. I highly recommend that you start thinking about it now, that you talk your idea through with me, and that you consult with me about the theoretical works. The paper should be ten pages long, double-spaced, with a bibiliography. Remember to introduce your texts concisely but thoroughly (author, date, country, brief description), to include quotations to back up your points and to discuss those quotations, and to have a contestable argument.
This is the syllabus:
Tues Aug 25
In-class discussion: excerpt from Eve Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet.
Thurs Aug 27
Esther Saxey’s introduction to Homo-Plot: The Coming-Out Story and Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Identity.
Due: A question
Tues Sept 1
David Sedaris’ “Hejira” and “I Like Guys.”
Due: A paragraph on how one of these texts reproduces or refines the coming out narrative’s conventions.
Thurs Sept 3
Lisa Duggan’s “The Trials of Alice Mitchell: Sensationalism, Sexology, and the Lesbian Subject in Turn of the Century America” (1993).
Due: two questions, and three key terms for discussion.
Tues Sept 8
Willa Cather’s “Paul’s Case: A Study in Temperament” (1905).
Due: choice of passage for discussion with explanation.
Thurs Sept 10
Selected poems by Langston Hughes.
Tues Sept 15
Bruce Nugent’s ‘Smoke, Lillies, and Jade” (1926).
Due: two page response paper about one formal quality of the story.
Thurs Sept 17
Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons.
Tues Sept 22
Due: assignment on specific word.
Thurs Sept 24
Tues Sept 29
Etel Adnan’s “First Passion” (1998) and selections from Katherine Bond Stockton.
Thurs Oct 1
Justin Torres’ We The Animals (2011).
Due: a couple of sentences on how we might relate Stockton to this novella.
Tues Oct 6
We The Animals
Due: two page response paper on the novella’s use of “we.”
Thurs Oct 8- NO CLASS
Tues Oct 13
Judith Butler’s “Imitation and Gender Insubordination”
Due: a question about the reading; a passage you think we should unpack.
Thurs Oct 15
Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015)
Tues Oct 20
Tues Oct 22
Inaugural issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly.
Due: presentations on one of the keywords
Tues Oct 27
Abigail Tarttelin’s Golden Boy: A Novel (2013) and the video “What It’s Like To Be Intersex.”
Due: a question
Thurs Oct 29
Due: five page paper making an argument about two of the texts we have read.
Tues Nov 3
Selections from Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (2013).
Due: A question
Thurs Nov 5
Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild (1995)
Tues Nov 10
Alifa Rifaat’s “My World of the Unknown” (1983).
Tues Nov 12
Lucy Corin’s “Madmen” (2013).
Due: two page response paper on Butler or Rifaat’s short stories, addressing queer animality.
Tues Nov 17
Binyavanga Wainaina’s “Wangechi Mutu Wonders Why Butterfly Wings Leave Powder on the Fingers, There Was a Coup Today in Kenya” (2014) and selected images by Wangechi Mutu.
Due: one page reflection on one of the images.
Thurs Nov 19- NO CLASS
Tues Dec 1
Excerpts from Jack Halberstam’s In A Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005) and Elizabeth Freeman’s Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (2010).
Due: a question about each of the readings.
Tues Dec 3
Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch (2006).
Tues Dec 8
The Night Watch
Final paper: Tuesday Dec 15