Open to Gallatin first-year students only.
The premise of this seminar is that the “home” is not prepolitical or apolitical, in opposition to the public domain, but inextricably linked to the political. Indeed meanings of home saturate – sometimes explicitly, sometimes obliquely – our public discourse and debates. Gender, race, class, and sexuality are publically policed and reproduced with reference to normative familial relations and (private) property. Yet domestic spaces and intimate lives can often serve as spaces of relief, refuge, and even political opposition. The home, depending on where one finds oneself situated, can mean wildly different things: prison or refuge, the banal or the aspirational. In this course we will read critiques and adulations of the domestic in multiple genres (theoretical, literary, popular) alongside contemporary activist projects and artworks that willfully put the domestic on public display through the use of traditional women’s work (knitting, embroidery, sewing). We will ask how different domestic spaces and intimate relations are imagined in opposition (or conjunction) with dominant models. Readings will include Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Betty Friedan, Toni Morrison, bell hooks, Kathleen Stewart, Ann Cvetkovich, David Eng, Juana Maria Rodriguez, and Foucault and artworks by Annette Messager, Marianne Jørgensen, and the Gees Bend Quilters.
First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)