Portrayals of masculinity in the contemporary novel
Time: 19:45 - 21:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HLT253
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
This online literature course investigates how masculinity is to be understood, not as a static construct but an as evolving understanding of self, shaped by social expectations. Class, sexuality, religion, race and other factors will be shown to be influential in these constructions and the portrayals we encounter will be compared and contrasted according to the effect of colonialism on the respective cultures of Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan found in the works. We will explore gender terms and concepts and how they can be recognized and applied to various portrayals found in post-colonial literature.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will explore portrayals of masculinity in three post-colonial novels: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. The course will focus on how masculinity is constructed in the societies of these novels and how these constructions are informed by gender expectations, colonialism, and patriarchy. In Desai’s work, we will examine how these portrayals are influenced by ideas of servitude, religion and other cultural issues and how they differ according to place, specifically India and the United States. We will take a similar approach to The Reluctant Fundamentalist, with an examination of gender expectations of Pakistan and the United States and how they are shaped by class, religion and sexuality. For Dangarembga’s novel, masculinity and how it is constructed will be considered in relation to the female characters, specifically the protagonist, Tambu, and which issues influence these portrayals.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Understand and talk about concepts, issues and ideas relating to gender and how they influence post-colonial societies.
• Apply this knowledge to other non-Western literatures.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No particular skills are needed besides an interest and a willingness to engage in reading, analysing and discussing literature.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The first part of the session will include a mini lecture on the author, text and issues pertaining to the course focus, including Q & A with students. The second part will include a round table and small group discussion of these matters in detail. You will be expected to read in advance for the week's session.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need to buy or borrow:
Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga,
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.
Any additional readings will be provided by the course tutor.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Look for other literature courses under History, Culture and Writing at www.citylit.ac.uk.
Roger Blanton has a PhD in English from Queen Mary, University of London. He has taught in the US, Argentina, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and the UK.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.