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ENGLISH 25Q: Queer Stories (FEMGEN 25Q)

Queer Stories is a creative writing class open to any and all students, regardless of how they define their gender or sexuality. The goals of the class are to read widely in the canon of twentieth and twenty-first century queer prose literature, and to write critical and creative work that engages with the styles, modes, and subjects of these writers. As we read and discuss texts, students will consider a variety of questions: How has queer romance, relationships, and sexuality been represented over the years, in both coded and explicit ways? How have writers grappled with representing our evolving sense of gender as a continuum rather than a binary? How have queer writers interrogated or understood the concept of family? How do queer writers handle the question of the "universal" reader to whom, arguably, they might be speaking? (In a 2012 interview with Lambda Literary, book critic Daniel Mendelsohn argues,contentiously, "It is precisely the gay book's ability to be interesting to a more »
Queer Stories is a creative writing class open to any and all students, regardless of how they define their gender or sexuality. The goals of the class are to read widely in the canon of twentieth and twenty-first century queer prose literature, and to write critical and creative work that engages with the styles, modes, and subjects of these writers. As we read and discuss texts, students will consider a variety of questions: How has queer romance, relationships, and sexuality been represented over the years, in both coded and explicit ways? How have writers grappled with representing our evolving sense of gender as a continuum rather than a binary? How have queer writers interrogated or understood the concept of family? How do queer writers handle the question of the "universal" reader to whom, arguably, they might be speaking? (In a 2012 interview with Lambda Literary, book critic Daniel Mendelsohn argues,contentiously, "It is precisely the gay book's ability to be interesting to a straight reader that makes it a great book.") Lastly, students will also create writing of their own that in some way draws upon the aesthetics or sensibilities of the authors we have read. These pieces may be short stories, personal essays, or texts that--in the spirit of queerness--blur or interrogate standard demarcations of genre. The content of this work might grapple with questions of gender and sexuality, but it might instead be queer in its affect, outlook, or style. In both the reading and writing they do in this class, students will engage with work that deviates from literary convention in the lives it represents and the ways in which it represents them.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-CE, WAY-EDP
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