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Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Literature: Friendship

ENGL 390.401
instructor(s):
Tuesdays 1:30-4:30 pm

This seminar offers an introduction to the history and philosophy of friendship. We will consider friendship in relation to eros and same-sex desire; as a mode of political thought; and in relation to questions of representation and truth. We will take up twentieth-century transformations in marriage and kinship and will reflect at length on recent queer rethinkings of friendship “as a way of life.” Students will also be asked to think about the classroom as an alternative space of social relations and to design and lead one pedagogical experiment during the semester. Readings by Plato, Aristotle, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Sarah Orne Jewett, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Carson McCullers, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Alan Hollinghurst, and others. One class presentation; pedagogy project; long final paper.