COMPLIT 771 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature
Section: 001 Death of the Closet: Framing Lesbian Identities
Term: WN 2014
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In this course we will use contemporary literary texts including graphic novels and films to explore questions related to diverse aspects of lesbians’ lives, such as sexuality, gender and race. Our aim will be to understand what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, bi-gendered, or intersex within specific historic and sociopolitical contexts. We will examine the social, political, economic and historical contexts presented in these texts in order to understand shifting attitudes towards GLBTQI people and issues. We will also use interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and literary criticism to help us better understand how gender, identity, race and sexuality are constructed and performed in these graphic novels and films.


  • Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home (2006)
  • Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother (2012)
  • Rutu Modan’s Exist Wounds (2007)
  • Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise (2005)
  • Jaime Hernandez’ Locas (2005)


  • Parriah (2007) and (2011)
  • Modern Family (TV Series 2009-
  • L Word (TV Series 2004-2009)
  • Kissing Jessica Stein (2001)
  • The Incredible True Adventure of 2 Girls in Love (1995)
  • But I’m a Cheerleader (1995)
  • The Watermelon Lady (1997)
  • An Untitled Portrait (1993)
  • Fish Out of Water (2009)
  • Black Womyun Conversation with Lesbians of African Descents by Tiona McClodden (2009)

Course Requirements:

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Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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COMPLIT 771 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
M 4:00PM - 7:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780618871711
Fun home : a family tragicomic, Author: Alison Bechdel., Publisher: Houghton Mifflin 1st Marine 2007
ISBN: 9780618982509
Are you my mother?, Author: by Alison Bechdel., Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780976670780
Jane's world, Author: story and art by Paige Braddock., Publisher: Girl Twirl Comics 2006
ISBN: 9781606995068
No straight lines : four decades of queer comics, Author: edited by Justin Hall., Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
ISBN: 9781920590338
Queer africa : new and collected fiction, Author: edited by Karen Martin and Makhosazana Xaba., Publisher: Modjaji Books 2009
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