WGST-271 Sexing the Past
Spring for 2016-2017
This seminar explores some of the ways sex and sexuality were understood in the nineteenth-century U.S. We will examine a number of contexts for the interpretation of sexuality, drawing upon primary historical materials ranging from moral reform writings to free love literature to the “city mysteries” novel, grappling with questions including slavery, captivity and interracial sexuality, cross-dressing, intersex and the question of same-sex erotic relations. These materials will inform our consideration of selected literary texts from antebellum America. Authors will include Nathaniel Hawthorne, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Julia Ward Howe, William Wells Brown, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, George Thompson and others. Students will also conduct independent research on subjects of their own choosing. Research training and support will be provided during occasional Friday afternoon sessions from 2:30-4:30 pm.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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