01 CAC MW5 07924 LUCIANO HC-S120
Queerness in the Nineteenth Century US
This seminar examines the politics of sexuality and gender in nineteenth-century US fiction through a queer lens. We will explore depictions of the range of bodily intensities and practices from which the category of “sexuality” as we have come to know it precipitated. What counted as sex in the nineteenth century? How did people comprehend their own sexuality, and that of others? How did the nineteenth-century body matter? We will consider the emergence of the category then known as homosexuality in the latter part of the century, but will also focus on the question of what queerness looks like when not centered on this category. Particular attention will be paid to the part played by the sexualized body in debates surrounding slavery, US expansionism, and the displacement of Indigenous people. Requirements will include weekly response papers, midsemester and final essays, a research project, and one in-class presentation.