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ENGS283 - Early Modern Sex and Sexuality


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Early Modern Sex and Sexuality


This course applies the methods of gender and sexuality studies to early modern literature. Taking up Michel Foucault’s contention that sexual identity was an "invention" of the nineteenth century, students theorize and historicize sex and sexuality in the three centuries prior to this moment. Can we see the traces of identity in sexual desire in early modernity? How is sexual desire related to gender? To race? To class? To other intersectional identities? What might it mean to queer an early modern text? And how do literary genres from the period – poetry, drama, prose – enable the exploration of these questions? Recommended background: ENG 213 or 214.