Ability to use gender as a tool of critical analysis when approaching literary and cultural narratives.
Good understanding of the impact of the concepts of femininity and masculinity on women and men in various historical periods.
Good understanding of the power politics and social factors involved in the formation of personal identities both in the real world and in cultural constructs/narratives.
Good understanding of the interrelation of gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationality.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course focuses on gender identity and on gendered representations in literature and culture. It investigates the concepts of femininity and masculinity as social and cultural constructions and explores their impact on the lives of women and men. It approaches femininity and masculinity as fluid identities whose meaning fluctuates in various historical periods and cultural contexts. Drawing from works of major feminist critics and gender theorists, the course investigates the ways the differences (biological, psycho-emotional, sexual) between men and women and their socially assigned roles are inscribed in literary texts and inform cultural institutions. It also explores the power politics affecting the intersection of gender and other forms of identity, such as race, class, sexuality, and nationality.
Feminism, gender, difference, identity, political literature
Additional bibliography for study
Hilary M. Lips. Gender the Basics (Routledge 2014).
Victoria L. Bromley. Feminisms Matter: Debates, theories, Activism (University of Toronto Press, 2012).
bell hooks. Feminist Theory: from Margin to Center (1984, 2000).
bell hooks. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love (2004).
Barbara J. Berg. Sexism in America (2009).
Elaine Showalter. Speaking of Gender.