Recent Course ListingsCourses in the joint MA degree interrogate gender systems with critical inquiries into the legal, political, economic, and cultural practices that shape social identity. Faculty offer courses with diverse methods and subject areas to pose fundamental questions about gender, power, and the cultural imagination.
Instructor: VariesDescription: Traces an intellectual and political history of critical race theory that begins in law classrooms in the 1980s and continues in the 21st century activist strategies of Black Lives Matter movement. We proceed by reading defining theoretical texts alongside African American literature of the 20th and 21st centuries. Usually offered every third year.
Instructor: Thomas A. KingDescription: Explores early modern understandings of the body, with particular attention to gender, sexuality, race, and nation. Considers the role of violence in determining who counts as fully human, who can be reduced to a body, and whose bodies can be severed from citizenship, recognition, and value. Explores as well the claims of the body and voice to memorialization and belonging, and the evidence of actors' bodies on the stage. Usually offered every third year.
Instructor: Thomas King
Description: Recommended preparation: An introductory course in gender/sexuality and/or a course in critical theory. Historical, literary, and theoretical perspectives on the construction and performance of queer subjectivities. How do queer bodies and queer representations challenge heteronormativity? How might we imagine public spaces and queer citizenship?
Instructor: Faith Smith
Description: With fiction of the past decade or so as our focus, we will ask how the mapping of the present by Caribbean writers reflects the preoccupations of the region, and of the global communities in which diasporic Caribbean people make a life. How do these texts reflect on their own form? What are the objects of desire that they tease out? What worlds do they imagine when their texts travel backward or forward in time?
Instructor: Brandon Callender
Description: Examines various works by black queer critics and cultural producers, beginning in the early twentieth century and continuing into the present. While we largely focus upon the attempt to create the shared sense of a world and a tradition in common, we also attend to important divisions brought about by various forms and feelings of difference (including race, gender, class, nation, age and ability). Usually offered every third year.
Instructor: Thomas A. King
Description: How are our bodies the material for our presentations of self and our interactions with others? Examines contemporary theories and histories of the body against literary, philosophical, political, and performance texts of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Usually offered every third year.
Instructor: Thomas A. KingDescription: Explores vectors of desire, intimacy, and relationality prior to 1800 that do not always neatly line up with post-Enlightenment taxonomies of gender, sexuality, race, and humanness. We will read works by Austen, Behn, Marlowe, Phillips, Rochester, Shakespeare, and others, asking: What possibilities of pleasure, intimacy, love, friendship, and kinship existed alongside male-female reproductive sex and marriage before 1800? What possibilities for non-binary gender identifications and presentations? Without firm taxonomic distinctions among classes of people, between human and nonhuman animals, or even between the human and the thing, how did early moderns understand what counted as fully human? Usually offered every third year.
Instructor: Faith SmithDescription: Beginning with the region's representation as a tabula rasa, examines the textual and visual constructions of the Caribbean as colony, homeland, backyard, paradise, and Babylon, and how the region's migrations have prompted ideas about evolution, hedonism, imperialism, nationalism, and diaspora. Usually offered every second year.
Instructor: Thomas A. KingDescription: Students will explore two pressing questions: How do contemporary theatre artists work to rehumanize those denied humanity? During a global climate emergency, how can the theatre, which is traditionally defined by the co-presence of humans, relocate the human as only one of many lifeforms—not the center of everything but rather entwined with other organic, inorganic, and spiritual agencies? Usually offered every second year.
Instructor: David ShermanDescription: A genre study of romantic comedy, from early to recent cinema. How does its narrative machinery work and what social functions does it serve? An exploration of comedic pleasure as strategy for fashioning gender identities, sexualities, marriages, and anti-marriages. Usually offered every third year.
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