Yale School of Art
1156 Chapel Street, POB 208339
New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8339
(203) 432-2600

ART Art 579b, Gender Dialectics

This seminar will examine gender as a technology that has historically posited biological sex as its real, only to all along create material, symbolic, and imaginary surpluses that exceed it. This excess is the condition of every oppressive structure that produces the gendered body; it is also the site of any transfeminist project of emancipation. Our research will move from psychoanalytical descriptions of signification as the production of sexuality to queer theory’s account of sex as the failure of signification and the black radical tradition’s offering of an improvisational sexuality as a way around ocularcentric uses of signification. We will then look at what social constructivist approaches leave out-the role that ontology and materiality play in constructing the body, and finally develop a theory of love that does not rely on either an incommensurability or a union of genders. Class time will be divided between discussions of the readings, presentations on artists whose work is relevant to the subjects under consideration, and group critique of student work. Our concern throughout will be to create new imaginaries for a transfeminist future.

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