Advanced (Seminar) Courses
Two sections of English 497 are the two Advanced Courses offered every fall. These are seminars designed primarily for English majors (although occasionally English minors enroll in them). The topics vary depending upon the research and teaching interests of the faculty. They demand a high level of student involvement in research and discussion. Several short papers and a long critical essay are required. Please Note: the two seminars are only offered in the fall semester.ENG 497 Seminar in English Literature
Sexualities, Textualities, and Queer Theory
In this course, we will explore the role of sexuality in literature and literary theory, with an emphasis on queer theory. How can paying attention to sexuality and sexual identity deepen our reading of literature? What makes a text “queer”? To what extent are the categories of “gay” or “straight” stable or useful lenses for examining ourselves or the books we read? We will ground our inquiry in the works of literary and cultural theorists such as Michel Foucault (The History of Sexuality, Volume I), Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire) and Judith Butler (Gender Trouble). Our readings will span multiple genres and time periods: authors to be considered include Shakespeare, Tennyson, Gustave Flaubert, Jeanette Winterson, Jeffrey Eugenides, and others. Assignments include weekly reading responses, several mid-length papers, a presentation, and a substantial research paper.