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Queer Attachments

ENGL 290.401
instructor(s):
MW 2-3:30
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

To what extent is desire fluid and to what extent is it fixed? Are we the agents of our own desire or is desire always conditioned by forces much larger than us (society, biology, the environment)? In this course, we will read widely in queer studies and attachment theory in order to explore the uneasy relationship between desire and attachment. We will read psychologists, philosophers, poets, and novelists interested in the way that experience shapes desire in order to explore the role of identity, history, embodiment, and emotion in the formation of attachments -- queer and otherwise. Our readings will include Sigmund Freud's famous essay on loss, "Mourning and Melancholia," Eve Sedgwick's meditation on relationships between gay men and straight women, "White Glasses." and James Baldwin's novel about queer desire in 1950s Paris, Giovanni's Room, among others.