This course explores the changing representations of sexuality in (mainly) British literature, from the 1880s to the present day. It reflects the recent growth of theoretical and critical work in this area. Major works of imaginative literature are studied alongside the writing of sexologists of the late nineteenth century such as Edward Carpenter and Havelock Ellis, the Psychoanalysis of Freud and his followers and the more recent theories of Lacan and Foucault. This course also looks at literature through the recent theories of sexuality and performance by Judith Butler and Eve Sedgwick.
We will look at literature from 3 historical moments: the late nineteenth century, the modernist period and the contemporary.
Texts from the late nineteenth century might include She by Rider Haggard, The Portrait of a Lady and The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Trilby by George Du Maurier.
Texts from the modernist period might include The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, Nightwood by Djuna Barnes.
Texts from the contemporary period might include Written on the Body by Jeannette Winterson, The Passion of the New Eve by Angela Carter or On Beauty by Zadie Smith.