LIT 391 - Novel Sexualities

Have heterosexuality and homosexuality always existed? If not, when and how did they emerge and what is meant exactly by these terms? What role might novels play in registering, shaping, defining and even producing certain forms of sexuality? In order to address these questions, the course will pair key moments in the history of sexuality in the United States and Western Europe from the 19th century to the present with landmark novels. In addition to novels, we will read medical, legal and theoretical texts, as well as magazine and newspaper articles. We will end with a contemporary unit that asks what role popular culture might now play in the generation of new forms of sexuality. Through such inquiries, students will learn to historically ground their reasoning, acquire a critical understanding of sexuality and explore the relationship between novels and the production of sexuality. Enrollment Requirements: Prerequisite: One Academic course at the 200 level or higher.
Fulfills Literature or Humanistic Studies elective
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