This course examines enactments of youthful masculinity in U.S. popular performance with a particular eye toward accounts of variant or queer boyhoods. As we scrutinize the regimentation and valorization of specific boyish behaviors, we will explore the cultural impact of non-normative youthful masculinities (ie. sissies, tomboys, bois, punks, transguys, etcetera) as we also assess the place of queer boyhoods in American life. Course readings will be historical, literary and theoretical, with play scripts, films, memoirs and literature for young readers functioning as primary objects for the course’s analytic project.
Sample reading list:
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Justin Vivian Bond, Tango
Justin Torres, We the Animals
Ben Konigsberg, Openly Straight
David Levithan, Two Boys Kissing
Carson McCullers, Member of the Wedding
See instructor for complete list
Students will write in a variety of idioms (critical, reflective, creative, expository) as they develop an apt critical voice within scholarly analyses of work assessed in class and beyond. Each course participant will identify an original area of independent interest relevant to the core themes, questions and/or methods of the course and will compile a Final Project Documentary Portfolio evincing the historical, theoretical and practical concerns of their selected topic.