Goal: As a class, we will explore larger issues of gender and sexuality through the lens afforded us by gay and lesbian literature. What kinds of sexualities are understood by the writers on the reading list? What kind of gender roles are evidenced by the readings and why? By the end of the semester, students will have developed their own working definitions of the concepts "gender" and "sexuality," will be able to identify some of the assumptions and presumptions made about gender and sexuality within our culture, and will be able to read and write about literature that deals with sexuality and gender in a meaningful way.
Methods: Students will work through the readings via class discussion, small group work, informal and formal writing, and student presentations. No formal research paper will be required though it is an option.
Barrington, Judith, ed., An Intimate Wilderness: Lesbian Writers
Beam, Joseph, ed., In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology
Chandler, Raymond, The Lady in the Lake
Hansen, Joseph, Fadeout
Lorde, Audre, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Shakespeare, William, As You Like It
Watney, Simon, Policing Desire: Pornography, AIDS and the Media
Gorrell, Donna, A Writer's Handbook from A to Z
Attendance: Missing class will affect your final grade in this
course at my discretion, as will your arriving late or leaving early.
Assignments: Please type all assignments in a standard typeface such as Courier 10 point. Do not think I will be fooled by papers using a large type face. Narrow margins will also result in a lower grade.
Journals: For this class, you will keep a journal written with a partner in which you respond to each other's questions, comments and concerns about the readings and the class, and demonstrate your knowledge of the assigned readings. At a minimum, you should expect to write a page to a page and a half of material per class session. Your journals will be graded by other class members (though also read by me) and may be quoted in your three formal papers. We will discuss how to write and use your journal in the first session of class.
Paper #1A (3-4 typed double-spaced pages) will explore how you define gender and sexuality and a demonstration of how that definition is played out in a real world situation. It will begin as a diagnostic written in class, but you will revise it as you proceed in the course.
Paper #1B (5-6 typed doubled-spaced pages) will take your definition from paper #1A, and apply it to one or more of the works on the reading list, as you choose. Does your definition work for and in the work you've chosen? Why or why not? How might your definition change in view of your reading? You should use Paper #1A as a source for paper #1B and certainly should NOT begin writing from scratch.
Paper #1C (8-10 typed double-spaced pages) may be a simple expansion of paper #1B, or it may include an exploration of a work NOT on the reading list, in which case the instructor will help you find relevant sources. In either case, you will again work with the definition of gender and sexuality from your first two papers, and modify it as necessary. Your final paper will not require the use of outside critical sources. If you choose to use outside sources, you must provide me with a copy of the source or I will ask you to rewrite the paper without the use of that citation. You will also do an half-hour presentation of your paper in the last weeks of the class, which will be separately graded. You may use any means whatsoever to present your paper including handouts and audiovisual equipment.
The Final: You will be asked to apply your definition of gender and sexuality to a short reading or other text that none of you have worked with during the class. Does your definition work for the proof text I've given you? If it does, how? If it does not, how could your definition be modified? Should it be modified? You will NOT be evaluated on whether or not your definition "works" but on how you work with your definition and on your ability to deal with a new text. Please note: the text can be from any medium.
Student-Graded Journal: 15%
Paper #1A: 15%
Paper #1B: 15%
Paper #1C: 25%
You may rewrite paper #1A and paper #1B for a better grade until the last week of the course. In order to help you write, I will build time to work on the papers into the course and will be glad to read a draft at any time. There will be a minimum of two drafts for each of the three formal papers.
Your final grade will be the average of the six assignments listed above, modified as follows: Class participation (which includes attendance, amount of participation in class discussion, the quality of your work in small groups and your informal writing) will receive a High Pass, Pass or Fail. A High Pass will raise your averaged grade one entire letter grade, a Pass will not affect the averaged grade at all and a Fail will REDUCE the averaged grade one entire letter grade. The amount you work in this class is very important to me and I take class participation very seriously.
This may seem like a lot of work: it is. I will keep the amount of work I assigned in mind as I evaluate. While many of the readings are long, many of them are from popular culture, and are relatively easy reads. However, one caveat: please, please, please don't get behind! If you do, you'll never catch up... If you get into trouble, get in touch with me ASAP!!
Note: When you read the schedule, you will notice that I ask you to attach all previous versions of any given paper to the version you are handing in for evaluation. I do this because I want to see how you have reworked your papers -- and to remind myself of what I said about previous versions of your written work. At the final exam, I expect you to hand in all versions of all your papers written for this course, and one copy of each team's journal with the names of both partners written on the journal. At that time, I will be looking over all your written work for this course, and looking for a sense of how you have improved over the sixteen weeks of the semester. During this course, I will not accept drafts handed in without names on the top sheet, and I will not accept drafts that do not come with all previous versions submitted back to me. (I recommend a simple folder rather than trying to staple together 40 pages.) Please label all drafts (e.g., "First Draft, Paper #1C") so I don't have to guess the lineage of your papers.
I also do not accept late papers.
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¨ Week One: Introduction, Review of Syllabus, Gender Diagnostic (non-graded).
¨ Week Two: Lorde, Zami
¨ Week Three: Writing Workshop, Paper #1A (Bring Six Copies of your Draft!)
¨ Week Four: Chandler, Lady in the Lake/Hansen, Fadeout,* return of Gender Diagnostic
¨ Week Five: Beam, In the Life, Paper #1A (First Draft) Due with Attached Gender Diagnostic
¨ Week Six: Barrington, An Intimate Wilderness, Return** of Paper #1A Draft
¨ Week Seven: Shakespeare, As You Like It, Paper #1A (Graded Version) due, to be submitted with all drafts of #1A, including the Gender Diagnostic
¨ Week Eight: Watney, Simon, Policing Desire
¨ Week Nine: Writing Workshop, Paper #1B (Bring Six Copies of Your Draft!)
¨ Week Ten: No Class
¨ Week Eleven: Student Presentations, Paper #1B (First Draft) due along with all drafts of Paper #1A, Conferences during this week, Return of Paper #1B drafts during Conferences
¨ Week Twelve: Student Presentations, Paper #1B (Graded Version) Due, to be submitted with attached first draft of Paper #1B and Paper #1A (all versions including the Gender Diagnostic!)
¨ Week Thirteen: Student Presentations
¨ Week Fourteen: Student Presentations, Paper #1C (First Draft) Due, to be submitted with paper #1A and 1B, all drafts, Switch journals for student grading
¨ Week Fifteen: Student Presentations, Return of Paper #1C (First Draft)
¨ Finals Week: Final and Paper #1C (Graded Version) Due, to be submitted with first draft of Paper #1C and with all versions of Papers #1A and 1B including the Gender Diagnostic
* Appearance of a title in any given week means that we will be discussing the tittles listed during that week's session. Please make sure you've completed the reading in its entirety during that time.
** "Return" means that I am promising to return the listed draft by this date.
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Last Modified: February 12, 1996