Spring 2015

Course offerings Spring 2015

WGS 589R James, Cather, Stein
Moon/Goldberg, Th 1-4:00

This seminar considers James, Stein and Cather both as writers of fiction and as theorists of writing.  We will first consider The Wings of the Dove as inspiration for Stein’s QED and Cather’s Alexander’s Bridge. We will read the retrospective preface James wrote for the New York edition of Wings; we will pursue this agenda as well by way of Cather’s “My First Novels (There Were Two)” and compare her way of starting anew with O Pioneers! to Stein’s Three Lives in conjunction with various of her theoretical pieces on writing. The aim of these inquiries will be to further the understanding of the varieties of queer modernisms these authors represent.

WGS 751R  Feminist Theory
Huffer, W 1-4:00

The institutionalization of feminist theory over the past three decades has produced splits, debates, and contestations that have repeatedly threatened the coherence of the field. Critics complain that feminist theory is destabilized by the fragmentation of its proper object, woman, as an analytic category. But if the theoretical object of a feminist political project is no longer stable, we might ask if this retrospective projection of stability does not itself deny the splintered, uncertain, and contentious nature of feminist thinking from its very inception. With that in mind, this seminar will not be concerned to produce the proper object for a universal narrative about feminism’s conceptual foundations. Rather, it will attempt to think with and about some of the most visible contemporary texts that circulate as theory in Western academic feminism. Articulating a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, methods, and discursive styles, these texts will allow seminar members to reflect on the ethical, epistemological, and political stakes of feminist thinking over the past three decades. Members of the seminar will be encouraged to connect their readings in feminist theory with their own intellectual projects.

Readings will include Beauvoir, Irigaray, Anzaldúa, MacKinnon, Williams, Brown, Butler, Spivak, Gibson-Graham, Halley, and Barad.