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PS Masculinities : Course Description

Course Description ^top

Film Screenings: date/time see Topics, C601
Bereich: Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft
Unterrichtssprache: Englisch

Lektüre: D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; John Osborne, Look Back in Anger; Michele Roberts, The Looking Glass; Shell Shock Poets (selected poems by Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen); William Golding, Lord of the Flies; Jackie Kay, Trumpet;
Filme: Francis Ford Coppola, Apocalypse Now Redux; David Fincher, Fight Club; Texte (anzuschaffen): D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers; M. Roberts, The Looking Glass; W. Golding, Lord of the Flies; J. Kay, Trumpet;
Texte (empfohlen): A reader will be provided for our first meeting.

Oscar Wilde

Boys will be boys? Recent approaches in gender studies tend to focus on concepts of masculinity and on the question of how men and different versions of masculinity are 'made'. In this class, we will therefore scrutinize a variety of aspects of masculinity. In a first section on the relationship of class and gender and their influence on masculinity, we will discuss D.H. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers, John Osborne's 'angry young man' (Look Back in Anger), and Michele Roberts's recent novel The Looking Glass. In a second section on questions of war and violence we will have a look at the 'shell shock poets' Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen and their description of World-War-I experience as well as the question of violence in William Golding's novel Lord of the Flies. We will then analyse filmic representations of this question (i.e. the Vietnam War in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now Redux and David Fincher's tackling of male violence in Fight Club). In a last section called 'Crossing Boundaries' we will finally examine 'deviant' forms of (male) sexuality and discuss a novel, Jackie Kay's Trumpet, in which, based on a true story, a woman lives as a male jazz musician. Further topics of discussion will include famous and popular 'paradigms' of masculinity such as Hollywood actors Marlon Brando and James Dean, cultural phenomena like the dandy and images of sexuality as represented by the media (e.g. homosexual or 'metrosexual' men).

Students attending this course must be willing to master a substantial deal of reading, take part in class discussions and prepare a brief group presentation. Attendance of film screenings is compulsory!


Reading List ^top

As this course requires a considerable reading pensum, you should have finished reading at least D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers by the beginning of winter term!
We will discuss texts according to the order in which they are mentionend in the course description, i.e.:
(01) Sons and Lovers
(02) Look Back in Anger
(03) The Looking Glass;
(04) Shell Shock Poets;
(05) Lord of the Flies;
(06) Trumpet;
If you order your books via the internet please keep in mind that shipping might take up to two weeks!