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ENGL 2730 Fictions of Gender and Sexuality

Classic painting of bartender

Catalog Description: Examination of literary and cultural representations of gender and sexuality with special attention to intersections with race, class, and transnational contexts. GE C2

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • analyze various tropes, concepts and concerns significant within literary representations of gender and sexuality
  • understand the importance of analyzing literature with reference to its historical, economic, national, and transnational, and gendered contexts, engaging in such analyses from at least the novice level
  • close-read literary works, explaining the larger significance of textual details
  •  deepen their analysis of texts, replacing plot summary with interpretative claims.

Course Outline

Course content might be organized in a number of ways; listed below is one possible method of organizing the course.

Unit 1: Gendered Fantasies Retold
Angela Carter, selected stories from The Bloody Chamber
Sandra Cisneros, selected stories from Woman Hollering Creek

Unit 2: Domestic Grotesques
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Arturo Islas, The Rain God

Unit 3: Bildungsroman and Emergent Sexualities
Bharati Mukherjee, Jasmine
Shyam Selvadurai, Funny Boy

About the Banner: Detail from Edouard Manet, "A Bar at the Folies-Bergere" (1882) (image from