Feb 07, 2023  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
    
Course Catalog 2022-2023
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GSFS 217 - Transgender Literature: Transition, Narrative, and Desire

FC ARHU
4 credits
There has been an efflorescence of wonderful stories, novels, and memoirs by trans authors over the last decade. As this “genre” of literature takes modern shape, we can start to interrogate the tropes of representation and narrative structure that underlie trans self and communal-understanding. The process of transition itself seems to imply a narrative structure, moving from one position to another. But there is also an expectation and demand made of trans people to tell a specific story about how they have come to understand themselves, of what kinds of pain and violence they have experienced, or even just of how they came to understand their gender and experience, in order to justify their existence. We will read a selection of texts that interrogate these narrative tropes and structures by authors who are trying to develop a trans writing that builds new possible worlds for transness. Instead of simply minority representation, we will look at trans literature as a place to understand trans desire. We will read texts by trans writers that form the backbone of this genre while also providing critiques. We will interrogate transition itself as a narrative process, and ask how literary visions of transness can both limit or unleash trans possibilities. Our approach will combine disciplines of trans studies and literary theory in order to understand what narrative has to offer transness and what transness has to offer narrative.
This course is cross-listed with ENGL 217


This course is appropriate for new students.



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