GSWS 333-4: RWW Advanced Seminar: Critical Nonsexualities 1177

September 05, 2017


Professor: Dr. Ela Przybylo
Email: TBC
Office: AQ 5095
Office hours: TBD
Lecture: Tuesdays 8:30 - 12:20; SEC 1013

Course Description:

Critical Nonsexualities will provide students with the opportunity to explore the erotic currents of nonsexual forms of relating and their challenge to thinking sexuality studies today. While sexuality studies and queer theory have tended to centralize sex as a dominant mode of intimate relating and resistance, this course will both (a) explore the nonsexual and asexual traces of feminist and queer thinking on sexuality as well as (b) focus on literatures specifically attuned to nonsexual and asexual erotic modes as they intersect with compulsory sexuality, religiosity, gender, ability, race and racism, settler colonialism, transnationalism, mononormativity, and other systems of power. Attention will also be paid to the ways in which individuals and populations are desexualized or barred from being sexual as well as hypersexualized. Drawing on asexuality studies, critical nonmonogamy studies and love studies, transnational feminist and queer theories, critical disability studies, childhood studies, critical race studies, critical studies of aging, and Indigenous approaches to sexuality, the course will explore various nonsexualities, including but not limited to asexuality, celibacy, political asexuality, chastity, singlehood, kin networks, friendships, and nonmonogamy. The objective of this course is to imagine erotic relating apart from sexuality and sex and with a critical distrust in the modern paradigms of compulsory sexuality.

Students and instructor will:

·         Think about the role sex and sexuality play in modern society as well as in queer and feminist theories on sexuality through a focus on compulsory sexuality, desexualization, and hypersexualization.

·         Acquire literacy in asexuality as a sexual identity and asexuality studies as an interlocutor with sexuality studies.

·         Explore the possibilities of nonsexual erotics, including, but not limited to: friendship, nonmonogamies, spinsterhood, celibacy, singlehood, kin networks.

·         Understand asexuality and nonsexualities through an intersectional lens that engages with systems of power and oppression including compulsory sexuality, ableism, racism, sexism, settler colonialism, secularism, mononormativity.

·         Develop the research and archival skills necessary for identifying asexualities and nonsexualities both historically and in the present toward the completion of an original research project.

Educational Goals:

·         I Display disciplinary knowledge of core concepts of gender and sexuality.

For more detailed information please see the GSWS website:

Course Texts and Courseware:

All readings will be available through the SFU library and/or will be provided by the instructor.

Course Evaluation and Assignments:

Attendance and Participation:    10%
Leading Class Discussion:              15%
Asexual Archives Assignment:   15%
Final Project Proposal:   10%
Final Project Draft:          10%
Final Project Peer Review:           10%
Final Project (8-10 pages):            30%

Prerequisite: 30 units

The department of gender, sexuality, and women’s studies encourages clarity of thought and expression and good writing.

Students will be evaluated on these skills in all courses given by the department.

In addition, the department will follow policy t10.02 with respect to “intellectual honesty,” and “academic discipline” (