Representations of Gender and Sexuality in John Dos Passos's Writing
Like his modernist contemporaries, John Dos Passos engages themes of gender and sexuality. But unlike many of his contemporaries, his works may allow for relatively progressive readings of gender relations, understandings and representations of homosexuality, media-centered representations of the sexualized body, etc. Such progressivism may be due to his inherently activist stance during his writing career. However, merely writing during the first half of the 20th century may dictate a certain amount of problematic representation. Whether his works are read as progressive or problematic, studies that center on gender and sexuality in Dos Passos's writing may help to complicate the general consensus that important male modernists' relations to these subjects were inherently troubled.
We invite applications for fifteen- to twenty-minute papers that explore representations of gender and/or sexuality in any of Dos Passos's works. Presentations may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- social policy, government legislation, and matters of the law in the modernist and late-modernist period
- media, representation, and social images of gender/sexuality as demonstrated in Dos Passos's fiction or nonfiction writing
- sex, eroticism, otherness
- the body as subject or object
- sexual or gender identity
- feminism and post-feminism: representation and invisibility
- changing images of femininity and masculinity
- queer readings of specific characters, moments, narratives, novels, etc.