Fuelled by the sexual revolution, the women’s movement and gay activism, the late twentieth century saw a flourishing of critical interest in questions of sex, gender and desire and their relation to literature and culture. This module will develop your understanding of feminist critical approaches as well as introducing you to psychoanalytic and queer criticism.
By reading a selection of critical writings alongside literary texts, you will explore questions such as: How do the stories we tell shape our understanding of gender roles? From whose perspective are these stories told and what do they exclude or repress? How have writers reinvented these stories? What is the relationship between gender and the acts of reading and writing? What is role of reading and writing in processes of social change? And how are representations of gender inflected by age, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity?
All students will have some opinions on what it means to be a ‘woman’ or a ‘man’. This module will encourage you to examine these opinions in the light of contemporary thinking about gender and sexuality and via the study of a range of thought-provoking and sometimes troubling texts.
This module will be taught in twice-weekly seminars with occasional lectures. You may also be expected to give presentations and en
gage in group work. A substantial coursepack will be provided along with guidance on further reading.