From Simone de Beauvoir to Shulamith Firestone, feminists have argued that romantic love is tangled up with gender oppression. Queer theorists, meanwhile, critique nuclear family love as a burden of conformism, reclaiming romantic desire, sexual pleasure, and different kinship formations instead. However, Martin Luther King's non-violent philosophy emerged from his concept "agape"— unconditional love for all God's children. This course traces these contestations over the political force of love: How has it been differently represented or served contradictory political ends? Is love even representable or does it involve a different kind of embodied communication? Such questions will be woven into writing instruction and assignments which will engage authors such as Carolivia Herron, Radclyffe Hall, and examples of popular romance such as Titanic or The Notebook.
- Teacher: Katherine Thorsteinson