Course Syllabus: Young Adult Speculative Fiction

Hello readers! As promised, here is the syllabus for a seminar that I'm currently teaching at Bowdoin College. The seminar is entitled (Im)Possible Lives: Young Adult Speculative Fiction, and it is currently offered under Bowdoin's English Department and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program. The course description is as follows: How do wizards, monsters, cyborgs, and … Continue reading Course Syllabus: Young Adult Speculative Fiction

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Conceal, Don’t Feel: A Queer Reading of Disney’s [Frozen]

Don't let them in, don't let them see Be the good girl you always have to be Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know Well, now they know. - Queen Elsa, "Let It Go" - Disney's Frozen Last night I saw Frozen, Disney's adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale entitled The Snow Queen. After seeing the film, … Continue reading Conceal, Don’t Feel: A Queer Reading of Disney’s [Frozen]

Tradition, Change, and Kinship in Sherman Alexie’s [The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian]

Few young adult novels manage to tackle deep and complex issues with as much heart and nuance as Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (henceforth PTI). Initially, PTI can be approached as an autobiographical coming-of-age (graphic) novel that centers on the growth and development of Arnold Spirit Jr., a fourteen-year-old cartoonist and student … Continue reading Tradition, Change, and Kinship in Sherman Alexie’s [The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian]

Towards a Livable Mode of Existence: Judith Butler’s [Undoing Gender]

Front cover of Judith Butler's Undoing Gender (2004)Reading Butler is truly a worthwhile exercise for the mind interested in gender, queer theory, and human life in general. Undoing Gender is essentially a revision of Butler's groundbreaking book entitled Gender Trouble, which was originally published in 1990. In Undoing Gender, Butler not only adds more nuance … Continue reading Towards a Livable Mode of Existence: Judith Butler’s [Undoing Gender]

Masculinity Without Men? Judith Halberstam’s [Female Masculinity]

When we invoke the iconic image of James Bond, masculinity is usually one of the first notions that comes to mind. My friend and colleague, Dan Murphy, insightfully points out that even when James Bond utters his casual introductory catchphrase, "Bond, James Bond," these simple words resonate within our thoughts because they express "an appealing version … Continue reading Masculinity Without Men? Judith Halberstam’s [Female Masculinity]

A Queer Overview of Judith Butler’s [Gender Trouble]

Rich, complex, difficult, and groundbreaking are just a few of the words that are usually associated with Judith Butler's works. Despite the fact that her texts are often described as "tedious" and "overwrought," reading Butler is well worth the effort, and I'm often amazed at the way she is able to wrestle with difficult ideas. … Continue reading A Queer Overview of Judith Butler’s [Gender Trouble]

Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children

What is a queer child? What happens when a child moves away from accepted conventions of sexuality and adult heteronormativity? What are the repercussions of protecting children from the inevitable discovery of sexuality? How do storytellers control, regulate, or contest the notion of childhood sexuality? Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children is a collection of thought-provoking essays … Continue reading Curiouser: On the Queerness of Children

Queer Commodities: Contemporary US Fiction, Consumer Capitalism, and Gay and Lesbian Subcultures

The process of commodification is commonly viewed as antithetical to the notion of queer. While many people within LGBT communities or subcultures have widely embraced the increasing presence and assimilation of gay culture into mainstream culture (which includes an increasing representation of gay and lesbian characters/issues in the media, the nationalization of LGBT rights, among … Continue reading Queer Commodities: Contemporary US Fiction, Consumer Capitalism, and Gay and Lesbian Subcultures