Fall 2022 Undergraduate English Courses

358:442 Seminar: Queerness in the Nineteenth Century US

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.