Graduate students only
This course introduces students to theories and methods important to the study of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern literature as discursive spaces in which the meanings of gender and sexuality were established, contested, and reified. From the works of Michael Foucault to Sara Ahmed, students will gain a wide-ranging view of the history of and key concepts in the development of feminist and queer theories, such as gender and sexuality as performative phenomena, mechanisms of power, marginalization, and exclusion, liminality, challenging binary classifications (e.g. subject/object, active/passive, public/private, homo/hetero), honour and shame, gender violence, purity, eroticism, and reproductive futurism. Students will also gain familiarity with the various applications of feminist and queer hermeneutical methods to Classical and Ancient Near Eastern literature. We will begin the semester using the Book of Judith as a common test case for the practice and assessment of reading pre-modern literature through the modern heuristic lenses of feminist and queer theories. By the end of the semester students will demonstrate greater facility with these hermeneutical methods by producing a publishable piece of independent research on a primary text of their choosing.