Is gender something one has or something one does? What does it mean to “do” a feminist reading of a text or a film? How might feminist theory endeavor to both describe and undo cultural constructions of gender? This course will explore these questions by reading a range of theoretical and literary texts that elaborate historical, medical, psychoanalytic, and cultural models of gender and sexuality. We will read critics and theorists who have become central to contemporary feminism, including Freud, Foucault, Butler, Halberstam, Ahmed, and Fausto-Sterling, among others. We will pay particular attention to literary texts that have been productive for feminist and queer formulations of gender, including work by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Gloria Anzaldúa, Nella Larsen, James Baldwin, and Alison Bechdel. Finally, we will screen several films that invite viewers to reform or rethink their own perceptions of gender, including Orlando, Southern Comfort , and Paris is Burning . Topics we will discuss include gender norms, the psychosomatic, the gaze, transgender theory, and performativity.