Course Information
SchoolEnglish Language and Literature
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate, 2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
Course ID600013472

Programme of Study: 2018-2019

Registered students: 60
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
KORMOSElective CoursesWinter/Spring-6

Class Information
Academic Year2020 – 2021
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2011-2015
Knowledge Deepening / Consolidation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
 to expose students to a diverse range of literary and cultural texts that explore, reflect, or challenge dominant notions of gender and sexuality  to familiarize students with the constructedness of gender and sexuality, as well as their performative status, through some of the most principle theoretical discourses on gender and sexuality  to aid students to draw links between past & present sexuality and gender debates  to inspire students to evaluate their own cultural inscriptions as regards gender and sexuality
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Respect natural environment
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
Are the sexes two and distinct? What is it that defines masculinity and femininity? Is sexual identity determined by one’s sexed body? Can we think of gender and sexuality as stable and universal categories? Is biological sex a given? How distinct are the categories of anatomical sex, gender identity, and gender performance? Through a close reading of a variety of literary and cultural texts this course aims to address the questions above and examine gender, sex, and sexuality as fluid signifiers whose meaning changes across time, place and culture. We will explore how writers have represented gender from the Renaissance to the postmodernist era, how they have responded to the scientific, legal, and psychoanalytic definitions of sexuality formulated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as the impact of feminism and queer theory upon the ways in which we think about gender, sexuality and writing. One of the course objectives is also to invite students to rethink contemporary manifestations of gender and sexuality as ambiguous and problematic categories, but also mutable and open to choice. Syllabus Week 1 → Introduction  Make a first attempt to define sex, gender, and sexuality  Discuss the fluidity of the above terms through examples from popular culture Week 2 → Shakespeare, ‘Sonnet 20’, Stage Beauty  Focus on Renaissance England and cases of cross-dressing, or gender bending in Shakespeare (Sonnet 20)  Talk about the political changes that the Restoration period brought and their effect on gender roles  Examine how the Restoration stage becomes a site where traditional gender roles are destabilized through Eyre’s Stage Beauty Week 3 → Judith Butler’s theory of Performativity  Examine Stage Beauty through the prism of Judith Butler’s theory of performativity  Talk about Laqueur’s theory of ‘anatomical isomorphism’ and examine how ideology shapes anatomy  Discuss gender in relation to the changing context of the 18th century and the rise of the novel, which coincides with the rise of subjectivity  Examine how private reading was associated with illicit passions  Attempt a close reading of excerpts from Pamela, and relate them to modern rape culture Week 4 → The Eighteenth-Century Novel  Attempt a close reading of excerpts from Fanny Hill Relate them to modern rape culture and pornography  Discuss the difference between art and pornography Week 5 → The Long Nineteenth Century  Examine how the Victorian times set new models for femininity and masculinity  Attempt a close reading of the last two chapters from Jane Eyre and relate them to the Byronic hero and ‘male gaze’ theory  Discuss modern masculinities as remnants of Victorian stereotypes Week 6 → The Turn of the Century  Discuss gender changes in the fin-de-siecle, the image of the New Woman and the Dandy  Examine how the Victorian models for femininity and masculinity are subverted in Wilde’s theatre and how the discourse of sexuality conflates with the discourse of food  Wilde, Oscar. The Importance of Being Earnest Week 7-8 → Psychoanalysis  Look at Freud’s theories of Oedipal masculinity and his dichotomization of femininity  Sigmund Freud, ‘The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex’, ‘Female Sexuality’, ‘Femininity’  Discuss how Freud was refuted and re-appropriated by feminist criticism  Virginia Woolf, Orlando Week 9 → ‘Queer Theory’  Attempt a close reading of Mansfield’s ‘Bliss’, examining how desire and sexuality are expressed through a variety of discourses in the story  Discuss Queer Studies theory and see how it applies in different texts  Bad Men, ‘A basket of kisses’ Week 10 → Middlesex  Look at Aristophanes’ story of the third sex  Examine how incestuous love is presented in Eugenides’ book  Discuss how public and private history merge, and how the search for national identity blends with the search for gender identity  Examine Cal’s transition from girlhood to boyhood Week 11 → Cybersexualities and Postgender Identities • Discuss posthuman gender and cybersexualitites through two recent films: Spike Jonze’s Her and Alex Garland’s Ex Machina • Examine Haraway’s views on cyber bodies/sexualitties • Discuss if /how cyborgs escape prescribed notions of gender and recode sexuality and desire Week 12 → Intersectionality  Eve Kosofski Sedgwick, ‘The Beast in the Closet’  Henry James, The Beast in the Jungle Week 13 →Students’ Presentations
gender, sexuality, body theory, constructedness of gender identity, performativity, English literature, popular culture
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Laboratory Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
  • Use of ICT in Student Assessment
Course Organization
Reading Assigment100.4
Written assigments100.4
Student Assessment
Assessment A. an essay-type exam at the end (two essays), OR B. (if numbers permit) 1) oral presentation on a selected topic, 2) a small written assignment, and 3) an essay-type exam at the end (one essay). The essay is assessed on the basis of organization, argumentation, quality of expression in English, and skills of analysis and synthesis. The final examination is assessed on the basis of factual knowledge and familiarity with the required readings, in addition to the above criteria. The criteria are made known to the students in the introductory modules of the first year and apply in all literature modules. Τhese are also announced on Moodle and stated in the Course Outline.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Extended Answer Questions (Formative, Summative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
• ‘Aristophanes’ Myth’ from Plato’s Symposium (4th cen. BCE) • William Shakespeare, As You Like It, Macbeth (excerpts, 1599, 1606), • Richard Eyre, Stage Beauty (2004) • Roxana, Pamela, Fanny Hill (excerpts) • Jane Eyre (excerpts) • Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) • Katherine Mansfield, ‘Bliss’ (1918) • Virginia Woolf, Orlando, A Room of One’s Own (1928, 1929) • Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002) (excerpts) • Spike Jonze, Her (2013) • Alex Garland, Ex Machina (2015)
Additional bibliography for study
Bibliography Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. [1949] ΝΥ: Vintage Books, 1989. Braidotti, Rosi. Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory. NY: Columbia UP, 1994. Bristow, Joseph. Sexuality. London: Routledge, 1997. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York/London: Routledge, 1990. ---. Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. NY: Routledge, 1993. Evans, Mary. Introducing Contemporary Feminist Thought. Cambridge: Polity, 1997. Fausto-Stirling, Anne. ‘The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are not Enough’. The Sciences (March/April 1993): 20-25. ---. Sexing the Body. New York: Basic Books, 2000. Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality. Vol 1: An Introduction. Trans. Robert Hurly. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1988. Freud, Sigmund. “Infantile Sexuality”. In On Sexuality. Ed. and trans. James Strachey. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986. 88-126. Print. ---. “Some Physical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction Between the Sexes”. (1925). In On Sexuality. Ed. and trans. James Strachey. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986. 323-392. Print. ---. “Female Sexuality”. (1931) In On Sexuality. Ed. and trans. James Strachey. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986. 367-392. Print. ---. “Femininity”. (1933) In New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. Ed. and trans. James Strachey. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1986. 145-169. Print. Gilman, Sander. Sexuality: An Illustrated History. NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1989. Glover, David and Cora Caplan. Genders. London: Routledge, 2009. Grosz, Elizabeth. Space, Time, and Perversion: Essays on the Politics of the Body. NY: Routledge, 1995. ---. Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1994. Heydt-Stevenson, Jillian. Austen’s Unbecoming Conjunctions: Subversive Laughter, Embodied History. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Hughes, Derek and Janet M. Todd, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Aphra Behn. Cambridge UP, 2004. Irigaray, Luce. This Sex which is not One. Trans. Catherine Porter. Ithaca, New York: Cornell UP, 1985. Jacobus, Mary, Evelyn Fox Keller and Sally Shuttleworth, eds. Body/Politics: Women and the Discourses of Science. New York: Routledge, 1990. Kitsi-Mitakou, Katerina. ‘“Which Is the Greater Ecstasy?”: Desiring the Body’s Text and Writing the Body’s Desire in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando’. Yearbook of English Studies, 3 (1991-92): 215-52. ---. ‘Who’s Counting? Sexes, Genders, and Sexualities from Ancient Myths to Fin-de Siècle and Twentieth-Century Literature and Theory’. In Gender, Sex & Sexuality. Ed. Margaret Sönser Breen. Critical Insights Series. Amenia, NY: Salem Press, 2014. 20-35. Laqueur, Thomas. Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard UP, 1990. Lauretis, Teresa de. Technologies of Gender. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987. Mosse, George L. The Image of Man: The Creation of Modern Masculinity. Oxford UP, 1996. Nicholson, Linda, ed. Feminism/ Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 1990. ---. ‘Interpreting Gender’. In Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality: The Big Questions. Ed. Naomi Zack, Laurie Shrage and Crispin Sartwell. Malden, Mass., 1998. 187-212. Nye, Robert A., ed. Sexuality. Oxford Readers. Oxford UP, 1999. Print. Olson, Greta, Mirjam Horn-Schott, Daniel Hartley, and Regina Leonie Schmidt, eds. Beyond Gender: An Advanced Introduction to Futures of Feminist and Sexuality Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 2018 Parker, Andrew, Mary Russo & Dorris Sommer, eds. Nationalisms and Sexualities. London/New York: Routledge, 1992. (19-120 & 395-447) Plato. The Symposium. Trans. and ed. Christopher Gill. London: Penguin, 1999. Print. Price, Janet & Margrit Shildrick, eds. Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader. Edinburgh UP, 1999. Raby, Peter. The Cambridge Companion to Oscar Wilde. Cambridge UP, 1997. Print. Riviere, Joan. ‘Womanliness as a Masquerade’. 1929. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 9 (1929): 303-313. Segdwick, Eve Kosofsky. ‘The Beast in the Closet’. Epistimology of the Closet. Berkley: U of California P, 1990. 182-212. ---. ‘Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl’. Critical Inquiry 17 (Summer 1991): 818-37. Sellers, Susan. Language and Sexual Difference: Feminist Writing in France. London: Macmillan.1991. Suleiman, Susan R., ed. The Female Body in Western Culture: Contemporary Perspectives. Harvard UP, 1985. Tripp, Anna, ed. Gender. Readers in Cultural Criticism. NY: Palgrave, 2000. Welton, Donn, ed. Body and Flesh: A Philosophical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998. ---, ed. The Body: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999. Wilde, Oscar. “Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young”. 1894. In Shorter Prose Pieces by Oscar Wilde, An Electronic Classics Series Publication. 5-6. Web 20 January 2014. Williams, Christine L. and Arlene Stein, eds. Sexuality and Gender. Blackwell Readers. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002. Young, Iris Marion. Throwing Like a Girl and Other Essays in Feminist Philosophy and Social Theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. Young, Robert J.C. Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race. London/New York: Routledge, 1995.
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