Great Books: Traversing Histories of Sexuality
(Sat and Sun)
DIVERSE AND ONLINE COURSES TO CHOOSE FROM
SMALL, LIVE CLASSES WITH RENOWNED ASHOKA FACULTY
A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION FROM ASHOKAX
LIFE-LONG ACCESS TO A HIGH-GRADE PEER NETWORK
About The Course
In this course, we will address the question “What is sexuality” by reading some of the many books that have shaped our current ideas of the subject. These books will range across chronologies, cultures, and disciplines, starting with classical and medieval Indic texts — the Kamasutra, Sufi poetry — to ancient Greek and Roman classics — the Symposium, the Metamorphoses. We will also read philosophical texts like the Discourse on Method, biological texts like The Origin of Species, psychoanalytical texts like The Interpretation of Dreams, and literary texts like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Together, these “great books” will allow us to trace threads that have gone into the weaving of our tapestry of sexuality. People taking this course should be interested in reading and having their assumptions challenged, while also challenging other assumptions in turn.
Apply for Horizons Summer 2022
Phd. Tufts University
Madhavi Menon is Professor of English and the Director of the Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality at Ashoka University. Prior to joining Ashoka, she taught at Ithaca College and American University.
Professor Menon’s research interests include, among other things, Queer Theory, Renaissance Literature, and Shakespeare. Broadly, Professor Menon works with questions of sexuality, desire, gender, politics, and identity. She is the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (2004); Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (2008); Indifference to Difference: On Queer Universalism (2015); and Infinite Variety: A History of Desire in India (2018). Her current book project is titled “The Law of Desire’ (forthcoming with Speaking Tiger, 2021). Professor Menon completed her Ph.D from Tufts University.
Learning Support for the Course
Zehra Kazmi – Teaching Assistant
Zehra Kazmi is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literatures at the University of St Andrews. She holds an M.Phil. in English from the University of Cambridge and has worked as a Teaching Fellow with the Department of English at Ashoka for two years. Zehra’s academic interests include memory studies, Indo-Muslim writing and cinema studies.