Undergraduate English Courses

358:437 Seminar: Modernism and Sexuality: 1890-1960

01    TTH5  CAC   12645  RODAL  SC-101

Modernism and Sexuality: 1890-1960

The modernist era saw women receiving the vote for the first time in both England and America. It saw Freud’s theories of human sexuality revolutionizing western culture. It saw increasingly open representations of homosexuality, alongside increasingly violent repressions thereof. This course will examine sexuality in multiple, varying, and often contradictory manifestations, reading texts that take on (or come up against) romance, sexual pleasure, sexual orientation, gender identity, feminism, sexual prejudice, and sexual violence. What are the ethics of writing about rape? How should we read texts that reveal misogyny convergent with feminism? What happens when liberation movements seem to work against each other? How does sexual diversity determine our understanding of human diversity?

Readings will include: James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room; Willa Cather, My Antonia; E. M. Forster, A Passage to India; Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita; Jean Toomer, Cane; Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth; Virginia Woolf, Orlando; and selections from Judith Butler, T. S. Eliot, Frances Ferguson, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Allen Ginsberg, James Joyce, Sylvia Plath, and Walt Whitman.

Students will be responsible for one 5-page paper and one 12-page research paper.