NYU Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought Gender Politics 2 Course Topic: Reading the Modern Species: Invert, Woman Meeting Time: Monday 620-820 //Location: Draper Conference Room ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– Professor Emma Heaney Office Hours: M 2-4 & by appointment Email: [email protected] Office Location: Draper Building 106 Course Description: This course will investigate the interaction between the social, medical and political permutations of the category “woman” from the late 19th C to WWII and the emergence of “the invert” and transsexual narratives in scientific and literary texts. We will read novels, poems, newspaper cartoons, popular songs, and medical texts that present both the “New Woman” and the new flexibility of the category “male” (a flexibility that has as its limit the “man with a woman within”) as either threats to the natural order or as exciting markers of Modern social evolution. How do the genealogy of these categories relate? Do they prop or produce each other conceptually? How are these categories racialized or how does whiteness form them? How can late 20th and 21st-century theories of sex, gender and sexuality be read in relation to this particular period and these texts? How do we account (or fail to account) for this history in our theoretical or political attitudes toward “the proper object of feminism?” How do evolutionary or devolutionary theories of sex and gender (in relation to race, nation and class) emerge in literature (both fictional and scientific) that claims to produce “the Modern?” How do “expert,” “popular,” “vernacular” and “literary” representations relate or differ? How are “expert” accounts of feminine, female, queer, and trans experience resisted or refashioned to work better for trans people, women, and queers? What alliances and antagonisms (among women? between women and queer people?) emerge from this Modern gender crucible and how does this alchemy align the relation between gender, sex, and sexuality in the 20th and 21st century? These are some of our questions for the semester.