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Gender, Sexuality and Literature: Sexuality, Race, and Empire in Modernism

ENGL 090.401
instructor(s):
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

This course considers the relays between sexuality, race, and empire in modernist literature. The early decades of the twentieth century were marked by rapid and volatile transformations in gender relations, sexual norms, conceptions of race, and the colonial situation. The profound material and psychic effects of these transformations are registered in many of the classic texts of British and American modernism. With close attention to the formal dimension of these texts, we will trace the intersections between these vectors of power in early twentieth-century experience and representation. Course readings may include: Gertrude Stein, Three Lives; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Nella Larsen, Quicksand and Passing; Wallace Thurman, The Blacker the Berry; James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; Jean Rhys, Voyage in the Dark; Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness; Claude McKay, Home to Harlem; Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.