English 186 - Summer Sessions I, 2019

Literature, Sexuality, & Gender

Class Information

Instructor: Hughes, William
CRN: 53877
Time: TR 2:10-4:40
Location: 290 Hickey Gym


    This course will begin with Modernism, often described as the first flowering of self-consciously LGBTQ literature. But we will start with a seemingly heterosexual Modernist novel, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, both to hone our skills at reading for alternatives to heterosexuality and to see how gender norms and racial formations intersect. We’ll then move on to two Modernist classics, Nella Larsen’s Passing and Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons, before turning to postmodern and postcolonial novels, plays, short stories, and poems involving sexual and gender normativity and transgression. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be on the intersections of race with gender/sexuality, and of literary style with politics and social identity. Authors are Anglo-American, African American, French, Chicanx, Native American, Caribbean-Canadian, and Black Scottish, as well as a variety of genders and sexual orientations. In addition to the books listed below, there will be a course packet with poems, plays, short stories, and theoretical articles.


    Midterm Paper, 20%
    Final Paper, 25%
    Final Exam, 20%
    Participation: 25%
    Ongoing pop quizzes: 10% (5 reading quizzes of 5 questions each, 2% each, drop lowest)


    The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway, Ernest
    Passing, Larsen, Nella
    Tender Buttons, Stein, Gertrude
    Cereus Blooms at Night, Mootoo, Shani
    Trumpet, Kay, Jackie