The seminar will approach a variety of British novels published in the last decade from the perspective of gender studies. Many of these texts are concerned with the ways in which notions of ... read more
The seminar will approach a variety of British novels published in the last decade from the perspective of gender studies. Many of these texts are concerned with the ways in which notions of masculinity and femininity are crucial (or indeed harmful) for an individual's sense of self; they tell stories about love, desire and sexuality, and revise gender myths or religious notions about gender and sexuality. Gender constructs, in their intersection with other social categories such as race or class, are closely interwoven with narratives about the challenges and anxieties of modernity. We will discuss representations of gender and negotiations of gender discourses but also consider how the writing of gender affects literary genres, narrative conventions and concepts of character in fiction. The course won't offer a general introduction to gender studies, but we will complement our readings of the novels with a reconsideration of more recent gender theories.
Texts: Martin Amis, Yellow Dog (2003); Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake (2003); Ian McEwan, Saturday (2005); Ali Smith, Girl Meets Boy (2007); Zadie Smith, NW (2012); Colm Tóibín, The Testament of Mary (2012), Jeanette Winterson, The Daylight Gate (2012).
All novels are available in inexpensive paperback editions. - In order to reduce the reading load during the semester, students may wish to read the novels during the term break. You should have read Ali Smith's Girl Meets Boy by the beginning of the semester.
Assessment will be on the basis of regular attendance, active participation in classroom activities, and an essay of about 7500 words.
Language: The course will be taught in English (level C1).