Slavic R5B, Section 1: Session C (June 22 – August 14): Sex, Love, Communism

TuWTh 10-12, Cory 237. Instructor: Zachary Hicks.

Units: 4

This class will be taught via asynchronous remote instruction. Time conflicts are allowed for this class.

As early as 1848, Marx and Engels called for the abolition of the family as one key step toward mass liberation. In the work of many artists and intellectuals, this call has echoed from Marx’s time all the way to our own, morphing and transforming along the way. A notion of the modern family as something that structures and regiments social life has become central to a wide variety of thinkers and artists, from late 19th-century programs for liberating women from the tyranny of family life, to early Soviet experiments with non-monogamous romantic relationships, from mid-century feminists calling for wages for housework and the automation of motherhood, to queer and trans affirmations of non-normative forms of desire and gender identities. In this course we will read literary works and watch films that stage, in various ways, the problem of the modern family, including both utopian and dystopian versions of possible post-family futures. We will look at texts that challenge our notions of acceptable forms of sexual and social desire, gender identity, and family structure.

This course fulfils the second half of the UC Reading & Composition requirement (R5B).

Texts studied will be drawn from works by:
Emma Goldman, Arundathi Roy, Octavia Butler, Kathy Acker, Nikolai Chernyshevsky, Maggie Nelson, Liudmila Petrushevskaya, and Andrea Long Chu

We will watch films including:
Ari Aster – Midsommar (2019)
Manbiki Kazoku – Shoplifters (2018)

Prerequisite: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.

Instructor pending appointment.