English 197qc. America’s Queer Canon: from Melville to Moonlight

Terms: Fall Term

Mondays & Wednesdays, 10-11 am | Location: Sever 103

This course examines a range of works from the U.S. canon that engage themes of same-sex desire, homosexual and transgender identity, and other “queer” relations. Questions around sexual norms have been central to American literature from its beginnings, but the course will focus on texts from the second half of the nineteenth century through the very contemporary. With help from queer theorists and social historians, we’ll pay close attention to how changing legal, medical, and religious discourses shape queer literary expression, and how queer writers have changed culture. Authors include Melville, James, Cather, Larsen, Baldwin, Lorde, Bechdel, and Nelson.

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