Course: Figurations of Femininity

HC 223H

Professor: Monique R. Balbuena

This course will focus on cultural configurations of gender and sexuality as they are portrayed in literature. We will discuss gender roles and sexuality and observe how the tension between sex and gender is represented in different literary genres. We will consider definitions of femininity, the construction of gender, and the construction of identity through gender. While observing the characters’ perception of themselves, their willingness or unwillingness to live up to the expectations of their societies, we will also consider the relationship between sexuality and use of language (how do language and gender affect each other?). Among the texts we will read are excerpts from the Hebrew Bible, Virginia Woolf's Orlando, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Patrícia Galvão's Industrial Park, and Leila Abuzeid's The Year of the Elephant.