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English 7003: Identity Politics and Contemporary Literary Theory

This course will tackle many of the thorny issues around identity politics in the twenty-first century and track some of the predominant questions back through historical debates. While the obvious categories of identity remain class, gender, and ethnicity, this course will focus on the ways in which literary theory both entrenches such categories and challenges some of their underlying assumptions. Readings for the course will begin with the "Doxa of Difference" debate as it played out in the journal Signs (Autumn 1997–available from JSTOR), in particular Ien Ang's essay on incommensurability, and Kwame Anthony Appiah'sCosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Norton, 2006).


Fall 2011


Dr. Danine Farquharson (