S Writing Sexual Identities: Lesbian and Gay Literature in the Twentieth Century

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COURSE OUTLINE

3.02.140: S Writing Sexual Identities: Lesbian and Gay Literature in the Twentieth Century

  • [Module] ang614 - Genres: Cultural, Historical and Theoretical Perspectives
  • [Credits] 6 KP
  • [Instructor] Dr. Christian Lassen
  • [Time] Tuesday, 10-11 am: weekly chat (via "Meetings" on our Stud.IP page); Tuesday, 11-12 am: video conference for presentation groups, designed to discuss the presentation scheduled for the following week
  • [Room] online; until further notice: weekly chat; video conferences for presentation groups (via "Meetings")
  • [Description] The seminar covers a wide range of same-sex writing in twentieth-century Anglophone literature. Beginning with an exploration of Modernist literature, the course will first focus on the impact of late-Victorian sexologists on early 20th-century understandings of sexual identity. Other key moments to be addressed in class include comradeship in the First World War, the liberating social changes of the queer Sixties and the AIDS crisis of the 1980ies and 1990ies. Above and beyond this historical overview, the seminar will discuss some of the central aspects that have lastingly characterised representations of gay and lesbian as well as queer culture throughout the last century, among them drag and camp.
  • [Office Hours] see Stud.IP; until further notice, office hours will be held via video conference. Please sign up for a time slot on my Stud.IP profile ("Sprechstunden") and you will receive a link to the virtual conference room.


PRIMARY TEXTS (MANDATORY READING)

  • Forster, E.M. Maurice. 1971. London: Penguin, 2005. Print.
  • Walter, George, ed. The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry. London: Penguin, 2006. Print. [selected poems by Wilfred Owen et al.]
  • Hall, Radclyffe. The Well of Loneliness. 1928. London: Penguin, 2015. Print.
  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print. [or any other edition]
  • Mars-Jones, Adam. Monopolies of Loss London: Faber and Faber, 1992. Print. [selected short stories]
  • Kay, Jackie Trumpet. 1998. London: Picador, 2016. Print.


FURTHER PRIMARY TEXTS (RECOMMENDED READING)

  • Crisp, Quentin. The Naked Civil Servant. 1968. New York and London: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.
  • Hollinghurst, Alan. The Swimming-Pool Library. 1988. London: Vintage, 2015. Print.
  • Isherwood, Christopher. Christopher and His Kind. 1976. London: Vintage, 2012. Print.
  • Waters, Sarah. Tipping the Velvet. 1998. London: Virago, 2012. Print.
  • Winterson, Jeanette. Oranges Are not the only Fruit. 1985. London: Vintage, 2014. Print.
  • Woolf, Virginia. Orlando. 1928. London: Vintage. 2016. Print.


ASSIGNMENTS

  • [Prüfungsleistung] asynchrones (Gruppen-)Referat (max. 4 Personen; 45-60 min.) mit Schriftlicher Ausarbeitung (10 Seiten) [oder in Ausnahmefällen: Hausarbeit (15 Seiten)]
  • [Aktive Teilnahme] 5 Abstracts, jeweils inklusive Thema, Forschungsstand, These und Outline des Arguments (je 1 Seite insgesamt)

Please note that written assignments (abstracts, short term papers, long term papers) need to be composed according to the style sheet ("Leitfaden")of the University of Oldenburg, which can be accessed via the 'Institutswiki'-page of the English department. The style sheet not only provides relevant information on how to write a correct bibliography but it may also help you to structure your work according to academic standards.

Please make sure to sign the "Erklärung zum 'Plagiat'" and to attach it to your research papers.

  • [Abgabefrist] September 15th, 2021.




Session One, April 13, Introduction

Organisational Matters

  • Assignments

Assignments are graded and mandatory. In order to obtain 6 credits (KP), you will have to give a (group) presentation (Referat, 45-60 min.) on one of the presentation topics specified in the syllabus. In addition to that, you will have to hand in a short term paper (Ausarbeitung, 10 Seiten) by the end of term (March, 15). In exceptional cases, you may hand in a long term paper (Hausarbeit, 15 Seiten) instead of the above. However, an exception is only granted upon consultation.

  • Presentation Topics, Presentation Groups, Video Conferences for Presentation Groups

Presentation Topics are specified on your syllabus. In order to prepare your presentations, please pick a topic, get together in groups (see below) and write up a power-point presentation. Add your audio commentary to the presentation, save the file and send it on to me so that we can discuss your presentation in the video conference for presentation groups (see below). After that, you make your file available on Stud.IP on the Friday before your presentation so that all participants can read/ watch the presentation in time, i.e. before the session/ weekly chat.

Requests regarding your choice of presentation topics can be send to me via e-mail, starting on Wednesday, April 07. I will sign you in in the order of the requests' arrival. Please check this page regularly to see if your requests have been met.

Video Conferences for presentations take place in the second part of the weekly sessions, i.e. Tuesday 11-12 am. Please make sure that you attend the video conference the week before your presentation is due.

  • Active Participation

Active Participation is ungraded but mandatory. In order to fulfil the requirements, you will have to write five abstracts, each including a topic, a state of research, a thesis statement, and a brief outline of your argument (approx. 1 page), in the course of the seminar. You can choose your own topic; however: all abstracts have to address different primary texts. In other words, your abstracts will have to cover five out of six primary materials. They are due by the end of the week (i.e. Friday) that marks the ending of the respective sections, i.e. due date Maurice: May, 14; due date War Poetry: May, 21; due date The Well of Loneliness: June, 04; due date What the Butler Saw: June 18; due date Monopolies of Loss: June 25; due date Trumpet: July 09.

  • Weekly Chat

In order to discuss the presentations and related topics, I will be in the chatroom Weekly Chat ("Meetings" on our Stud.IP page) during the first part of each session, i.e. Tuesday 10-11 pm. Please make sure to read/ watch the presentations before you join the chat. The second part of each session, i.e. Tuesday 11-12 am, is booked for the respective presentation groups (see video conference for presentation groups)

   Summary: Presentations

1. Pick a presentation topic and contact me via e-mail (starting April, 7). Check below for available places. Presentation groups may consist of a maximum of 4 people. (This number may change, depending on the number of participants.)

2. Contact the other members of your group and prepare your presentation, i.e. power-point presentation with audio commentary.

3. Send me your presentation 8 days before your presentation is scheduled.

4. Discuss your presentation with me in a video conference 7 days, i.e week, before your presentation is scheduled. Video conferences take place on Tuesday, 11-12 am.

5. Upload your file on the Friday before your presentation is scheduled.

6. Join the weekly chat and be ready to answer questions on the day of your presentation. Weekly chats take place on Tuesday, 10-11 am.

Session Two, April 20: Theory Session - Constructing Sexuality

Theory Texts

Handouts

Guiding Questions

Session Three, April 27: Theory Session - Performing Gender

Theory Texts

Guiding Questions

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Hannah Steuer, Lucia Gassmann, Luise Kleimann, Kristina Vandree

Session Four, May 04: Sexology I - Classifying Male Same-Sex Desire

Primary Material

  • Forster, E.M. Maurice. 1971. London: Penguin, 2005. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "The Oscar-Wilde Sort," or: Sexology's Invention of (Male) Homosexuality
  • Presentation Group: Hannah Steuer, Lucia Gassmann, Luise Kleimann, Kristina Vandree

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group:

Session Five, May 11: Male Homosexual Traditions: Greek Love vs. Democratic Comradeship

Primary Material

  • Forster, E.M. Maurice. 1971. London: Penguin, 2005. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Greece Is not for Our Little Lot," or: Overcoming Platonic Love and Embracing Ideals of Democratic Comradeship
  • Presentation Group:

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Vivian Fili, Dana Bittner, Kea-Michelle Maul
   May, 14: Abstract Maurice due

Session Six, May 18: Comradeship

Primary Material

  • Wilfred Owen. "Greater Love"
  • ─. "Apologia pro Poemate Meo"
  • Ivor Gurney. "Sonnets 1917: Servitude"
  • ─. "To his Love"
  • Siegfried Sassoon. "Banishment"

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Only the Love of Comrades Sweetens All," or: The Homoerotics of Comradeship
  • Presentation Group: Vivian Fili, Dana Bittner, Kea-Michelle Maul

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Michaela Tsankova, Anna Triebelhorn, Cinja Frenkel, Lea Dinklage
   May, 21: Abstract War Poetry due

Session Seven, May 25: Sexology II - Classifying Female Same-Sex Desire

Primary Material

  • Hall, Radclyffe. The Well of Loneliness. 1928. London: Penguin, 2015. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "The Mascuine-Looking Girl," or: Inverts, Experts, and the Classification of Female Homosexuality
  • Presentation Group: Michaela Tsankova, Anna Triebelhorn, Cinja Frenkel, Lea Dinklage

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Uta Lübbers, Lina Löbbering, Simge Ince

Session Eight, June 01: Between the Present and the Past - A Painful Heritage

Primary Material

  • Hall, Radclyffe. The Well of Loneliness. 1928. London: Penguin, 2015. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Flawed in the Making," or: Rereading The Well of Loneliness after Gay Liberation
  • Presentation Group: Uta Lübbers, Lina Löbbering, Simge Ince

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Leonie Schlegel, Michelle Lammerich, Thomas Schäfner
   June, 04: Abstract The Well of Loneliness due

Session Nine, June 08: Drag - Deconstructing Heteronormative Genders

Primary Material

  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Undress Me Then, Doctor," or: Social Change and the Undoing of Essentialising Concepts of Gender and Sexuality in What the Butler Saw
  • Presentation Group: Leonie Schlegel, Michelle Lammerich, Thomas Schäfner

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Donna Nakibuule, Kimberly Ennis, Lukas Mollenhauer, Sophie Hutta

Session Ten, June 15: Camp - Parodying Psychoanalysis

Primary Material

  • Orton, Joe. What the Butler Saw. London et al.: Bloomsbury, 1969. Print

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "What Is Unnatural?", or: Parodying Psychoanalysis in What the Butler Saw
  • Presentation Group: Donna Nakibuule, Kimberly Ennis, Lukas Mollenhauer, Sophie Hutta

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Sina Klink, Pia Freye
   June, 18: Abstract What the Butler Saw due

Session Eleven, June 22: Writing AIDS

Primary Material

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • "Good Thought. Hang on to That,": or: Cultivating Camp Coping Strategies in Times of AIDS
  • Presentation Group: Sina Klink, Pia Freye

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Fynn Barthel, Franca Zeisler
   June, 25: Abstract Monopolies of Loss due

Session Twelve, June 29: Transgender Identities - Claiming the In-Between

Primary Material

  • Kay, Jackie Trumpet. 1998. London: Picador, 2016. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • In Transit, or: Disempowering Gender Binaries
  • Presentation Group: Fynn Barthel, Franca Zeisler

Video Conference

  • Video Conference Group: Marius-Bodo Lubenow, Achim Juschkat

Session Thirteen, July 06: Queer Selves

Primary Material

  • Kay, Jackie Trumpet. 1998. London: Picador, 2016. Print.

Secondary Material

Presentation

  • Make Your Own Kind of Music, or: Jazz, Improvisation and Identity Construction in Trumpet
  • Presentation Group: Marius-Bodo Lubenow, Achim Juschkat
   July, 09: Abstract Trumpet due

Session Fourteen, July 13: Work-in-Progress Session

Guidelines for finding your topic:

Your topic needs to be related to at least one of the primary texts

   September, 15: Term Paper due

Please upload your paper to the folder "Ausarbeitungen und Hausarbeiten" on our Stud.IP page.

Bitte stellen Sie Ihre Prüfungsleistung in den Ordner "Ausarbeitungen und Hausarbeiten" auf unserer Stud.IP-Seite ein.

Selected Bibliography

  • Benstock, Shari. Women of the Left Bank, 1900-1940. Austin: U of Texas P, 1987. Print.
  • Bergman, David, ed. Camp Grounds: Style and Homosexuality. Boston: The U of Massachusetts P, 1993. Print.
  • Bersani, Leo. Homos. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1996. Print.
  • Bigsby, C.W.E. Joe Orton. London: Routledge, 1982. Print.
  • Bradshaw, David. The Cambridge Companion to E.M. Forster. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print.
  • Bristow, Joseph. Effeminate England: Homoerotic Writing After 1885. New York, NY: Columbia UP, 1995. Print.
  • ---. Sexuality. The New Critical Idiom. London and New York: Routledge, 1997. Print.
  • ---. Oscar Wilde and Modern Culture: the Making of a Legend. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 2008. Print.
  • Bronski, Michael. Culture Clash: The Making of Gay Sensibility. Boston: South End, 1984. Print.
  • Brookes, Les. Gay Male Fiction Since Stonewall: Ideology, Conflict, and Aesthetics. New York: Routledge, 2010. Print.
  • Butler, Judith. "Imitation and Gender Insubordination." Inside/ Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories. Ed. Diana Fuss. New York and London: Routledge, 1991. 13-31. Print.
  • ---. Gender Trouble. New York and London: Routledge, 1990. Print.
  • ---. Bodies That Matter. New York and London: Routledge, 1993. Print.
  • ---. The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection. Stanford: Stanford UP, 1997. Print.
  • Cleto Fabio, ed. Camp: Queer Aesthetics and the Performing Subject: A Reader. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2002. Print.
  • Coppa, Francesca. "A Perfectly Developed Playwright: Joe Orton and Homosexual Reform." The Queer Sixties. Ed. Patricia Juliana Smith. New York, NY: Routledge, 1999. 87-104. Print.
  • Crimp, Douglas, ed. AIDS. Cultural Analysis. Cultural Activism. Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT, 1991. Print.
  • ---. Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics. Cambridge, MA, and London: MIT, 2002. Print.
  • Curr, Matthew. "Recuperating E.M. Forster's Maurice." Modern Language Quarterly 62.1 (2001): 53-69. Print.
  • Dollimore, Jonathan. Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault. Oxford: Clarendon, 1991. Print.
  • Dyer Richard. The Culture of Queers. London and New York: Routledge, 2004. Print.
  • Eckstein, Lars. "Performing Jazz, Defying Essence: Music as a Metaphor of Being in Jackie Kay's Trumpet." ZAA 54.1 (2006): 51-63. Print.
  • Edelman, Lee. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2004. Print.
  • Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality, Volume One: The Will to Knowledge. 1976. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998. Print.
  • Fuss, Diana. Inside / Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories. London and New York: Routledge, 1991. Print.
  • Green, Laura. "Hall of Mirrors: Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness and Modernist Fictions of Identity." Twentieth Century Literature 49.3 (2003): 277-97. Print.
  • Halberstam, Judith. Female Masculinity. Durham and London: Duke UP, 1998. Print.
  • ---. In A Queer Place and Time: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. New York, NY: New York UP, 2005. Print.
  • ---. The Queer Art of Failure. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2011. Print.
  • Harned, Jon. "Becoming Gay in E.M. Forster's Maurice." PLL 29.1 (1993): 49-66. Print.
  • Koolen, Mandy. "Masculine Trans-Formations in Jackie Kay's Trumpet." Atlantis 35.1 (2010): 71-80. Print.
  • Lassen, Christian. Camp Comforts: Reparative Gay Literature in Times of AIDS. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2011. Print.
  • Love, Heather. "'Spoiled Identity: Stephen Gordon's Loneliness and the Difficulties of Queer History." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 7.4 (2001): 487-519. Print.
  • ---. Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2009. Print.
  • Martin, Robert K. "Edward Carpenter and the Double Structure of Maurice." Journal of Homosexuality 8.3-4 (1983): 35-46. Print.
  • Martin, Robert K. and George Piggford, eds. Queer Forster. Chicago, IL: U of Chicago P, 1997. Print.
  • Murphy, Timothy F. and Suzanne Poirier, eds. Writing AIDS: Gay Literature, Language and Analysis. New York: Columbia UP, 1993. Print.
  • Ramazani, Jahan. Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney. Chicago and London: The U of Chicago P, 1994. Print.
  • Rodriguez Gonzales, Carla. "Biographical Improvisation in Jackie Kay's Trumpet." Scottish Studies Review 8.1 (2007): 88-100. Print.
  • Rose, Irene. "Heralding New Possibilities: Female Masculinity in Jackie Kay's Trumpet." Posting the Male: Masculinities in Post-War and Contemporary British Literature. Eds. Daniel Lea and Berthold Schoene. Amsterdam: Ropodi, 2003. 141-58. Print.
  • Russo, Vito. The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies. New York, Perennial, 1987. Print.
  • Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire. New York: Columbia UP, 1985. Print.
  • ---. Epistemology of the Closet. Berkeley: U of California P, 1990. Print.
  • ---. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2003. Print.
  • Sinfield, Alan. "Who Was Afraid of Joe Orton?" Textual Practice 4.2 (Summer 1990): 259-277. Print.
  • Sontag, Susan. "Notes on Camp." Against Interpretation and Other Essays. London: Eyre & Spottiswood, 1967. 275-92. Print.
  • Watkins, Susan. "'The Aristocracy of Intellect': Inversion and Inheritance in Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness." Scandalous Fictions: The Twentieth-Century Novel in the Public Sphere. Ed. Jago Morrison. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 48-69. Print.