MWF 11-12 204 Dwinelle Instructor: Marlena Gittleman

This class will consider gestures in both their figurative and literal senses: gesture as in to “gesture towards” an idea, practice, or community; and gesture as in a physical gesture, one that comes from the body and speaks when words are not an option, at the limits of words, or alongside them. Taken together, “Feminist Gestures” will consider feminisms as both an embodied practice and a set of ever-continuous processes. In doing so, we will look at issues of re-writing, intertextuality, and translation. We’ll think about the ways that bodies might gesture toward critiques and new feminist practices. In the process, we’ll think critically not about feminism in the singular, but feminisms in the plural. Well look at works that themselves interrogate and critique “feminism”s and the category of “woman” as it relates to feminisms.

Our readings will be drawn from works by feminists, womxn, femmes, queer, and gender-nonconforming artists, mostly from the Americas and Southern Europe, with an emphasis on intersectionality. Given the nature of gesture, we’ll work with texts that push at the limits of the literary, and also move into other mediums such as visual art, performance art, dance, and film. Some authors and artists that we’ll read and study may include: Sojourner Truth, Silvina Ocampo, Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector, Gertrude Stein, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Solange, Carmen Maria Machado, Ana Mendieta, Janet Mock, Gloria Anzaldúa, Hilton Als, Montserrat Roig, Mercè Rodoreda, Hélène Cixous, Sara Ahmed, Roxanne Gay, and more.

This course is oriented towards helping students hone critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, applicable far beyond the disciplinary boundaries of Comparative Literature.