English 9166A

Gender and Sexuality in the 21st-Century Postcolonial Novel

Professor Taiwo Adetunji Osinubi.
Fall Half Course.

English 9166A provides a forum to study the postcolonial novel in English through the lens of transnational sexuality studies. While studies of sexuality, gender and social inequality in the postcolonial fiction have a long history in postcolonial literary studies, recent transformations across the globe have inspired new representations and new conceptual approaches to the entanglements of literature and these keywords. This seminar will focus on postcolonial fiction produced in the twenty-first century. The interjection of sex, sexual orientation, pleasure and the erotic into these novels produces difficult attachments, complex identifications, unexpected visions of emancipation, and unpredictable forms of complicity and affiliation. What insights do we gain from attention to gender and sexuality in these novels from Caribbean, African, and South Asian writers? How does attention to the bundle of terms cathected under the term sexuality impact readerly encounters with these novels of “postcolonial literary economics”? The seminar will be based on discussions of eight novels and some secondary literature on sexuality, affect, and literary economics. The novels address the historical institution of plantation slavery, transnational migration, sex work and postcolonial development, and the public emergence of non-normative sexualities in the global South. Students will read key critical interventions on gender and sexuality from scholars in postcolonial literary studies. Geographically, the seminar will draw on material from Africa, the United States, India, and the Middle East.

Reading List:

Adiga, Aravind. Selection Day.
Dennis-Benn, Nicole. Here Comes the Sun.
Hadeed, Saleem. Guapa.
Levy, Andrea. The Long Song.
Matlwa, Kopano. Period Pain.
Martin, Valerie. Property.
Mbue, Imbolo. Behold the Dreamers.
Umrigar, Thrity. The Space Between Us

View the course syllabus/outline here: English 9166A. PDF download