Beyond Literary Landscapes—2SLGBTQIA+ Literature

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.

Who

This column serves as an introduction to 2SLGBTQIA+ Literature, a reminder of some of the genre’s classics, and as an inspiration for further reading.

Some well-known authors that focus on the 2SLGBTQIA+ community include Ahmad Danny Ramadan, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Ocean Vuong, Joshua Whitehead, James Baldwin, Leslie Feinberg, Samra Habib, Audre Lorde, and Vivek Shraya.

What

Some popular works include Ramadan’s The Clothesline Swing, Belcourt’s A History of My Brief Body, Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed, Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues, Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, Habib’s We Have Always Been Here, and Shraya’s I’m Afraid of Men.

Other notable works include Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds and Feinberg’s Drag King Dreams.

Where

These works primarily take place in Canada and the United States, as well as in Syria, Pakistan, and France.

When

These books primarily take place during the 21st century.

Why

These works may be of interest for learners who are interested in topics, such as gender identity, sexual orientation; themes, including love, resistance, and pride; as well as the histories of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

How

AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to 2SLGBTQIA+ Literature are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with a counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may consider WGST 320: Gendered Bodies and Society, a senior-level, three-credit course, which allows students to “engage with poststructuralist, postmodern, feminist, and queer theory in order to critically examine not only gender norms but resistance and challenges to these norms.”  Topics include, “The Social Construction of Gender,” “Performing Femininities,” “Performing Masculinities,” and “Gender Disability,” among others.  (Note that WGST 266: Thinking from Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies (or an equivalent course) is strong recommended prior to registration.)

In addition, learners can consider WGST 322: Sexuality in Society, a senior-level, three-credit course, which “presents the historical and theoretical underpinnings of Western colonial sexualities in Canada and the United States.”  (No prerequisites are required for this course.)  Happy reading!

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