Course Number

World Literature 309

Syllabus Date

Fall 1999

Department course is offered by


Course description

This course was taught by Robert Tobin at Whitman College. Professor Tobin worked at Whitman for 18 years as associate dean of the faculty and chair of the humanities, and was named Cushing Eells Professor of the Humanities. Several of the courses he developed at Whitman would make the transition to Clark, where they continued to evolve.

"Sexuality and Textuality seeks to examine the ways in which sexuality has an effect upon literary texts. It questions whether an author's sexuality affects their writing, whether a reader's sexuality affects their reading, and to what extent one can analyze the sexuality of literary characters or even works. Along these lines, it will ask whether it is "fair" to try to determine from a literary text whether its author is gay or not, or whether one can say that a particular work or aesthetic is in some way "queer". At the same time, however, it will ask whether "textuality", broadly defined as verbal constructions, affects sexuality. Can one say that certain linguistic, rhetorical, and literary formulations have changed and altered sexuality?"


sexuality, queer studies



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