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Contemporary Theories of Gender and Sexuality

GSS 400/ENG 264

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One is not born, but becomes, woman. So writes Simone deBeauvoir in The Second Sex, her landmark work of feminist philosophy. But how do we become women, anyway? And what if we don't? In this course we will read The Second Sex in its entirety, exploring Beauvoir's ideas - and our own - about childhood, family, sexuality, abortion, relationships, work, and aging. We will read Beauvoir alongside the work of her primary interlocutors (Hegel, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty) as well as contemporary feminist and trans theory, memoir, and fiction (Claudia Rankine, Carmen Maria Machado, Katharina Volckmer) considering gender and its discontents.
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Section S02