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ENGL 4334 Advanced Topic Seminar: Gender Crossings: Theory and Representation (Fall: 3 )

Course Description

In this seminar we’ll be exploring how ideas about transgender and transsexual figures have developed and operated in different cultures and time periods. How do these crossed and crossing bodies help us think about how and why gender norms emerge and are policed? We will consider medical, legal, religious, literary, and first-person accounts of cross-dressers, hermaphrodites, drag kings, “manly” women and “effeminate” men, among others. We’ll supplement our readings with theoretical texts that query the two-gender model, how it is we “sex” the body, and what the possibilities (and limits) are of a genderless world. Texts will include: Paré, On Monsters and Marvels; Shakespeare, Macbeth; Lyly, Galatea; Foucault, ed., Herculine Barbin; Winterson, Written on the Body; Churchill, Cloud 9; Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body; Freud, Sexuality and the Psychology of Love; Halberstam, Female Masculinity; Butler, Gender Trouble; Bornstein and Bergman, Gender Outlaws.

Instructor(s): Caroline Bicks

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: TAMI course: Fulfills the Theory requirement. Interested students should email Prof. Bicks ( describing previous experiences reading gender theory (if any) and telling her a bit about why they would like to take the course.

Last Updated: 24-Jun-17