Recent offerings include Hamlet, Jacobean Potboilers, Renaissance Irrationalities. Repeatable.
This course acquaints students with early modern systems of gender and sexuality, as represented in literary and popular texts. We will focus on examples put in productive relation to contemporary concepts of gender, queerness, and gender queerness. While some elements of early modern understandings of gender and sexual experiences and identities appear distant from ours, others resonate with recent changes in our own culture. Taking cues from scholarship, we will explore the opacity, difference, and reflections to be found in the past and assess the methodologies and motives we use to understand the past and its surviving records.
Readings include sonnets by Shakespeare and Barnfield, Marlowe’s Edward II, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Lyly’s Gallathea, Middleton and Dekker’s The Roaring Girl, and Catalina de Erauso’s memoir, Lieutenant Nun, as well as scholarship by Valerie Traub, Stephen Orgel, Jeffrey Masten, Melissa Sanchez, and others.