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Faculty Profile

Sarah Kersh

(she/her/hers)Assistant Professor of English (2014)

Contact Information

kershs@dickinson.edu

East College Room 413
717.254.8952
http://sarahkersh.com

Bio

Professor Kersh teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture, queer studies, and digital humanities. Her current research focuses on nineteenth-century sonnet sequences and queer temporalities.

Education

  • B.A., Muhlenberg College, 2003
  • M.A., Vanderbilt University, 2006
  • Ph.D., 2010

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

ENGL 101 LGBTQ Lit. in the US
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-01.This course will explore how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference— including race and class—in literature by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) authors, and authors who present LGBTQ characters and themes in their texts. Students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and experience. Our readings will include a rage of literary genres, such as essay, poetry, novel, drama, and film and we will focus on the interpretation of texts particularly through the lens of queer theory. Authors may include, among others: Gloria Anzaldúa, Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich, Leslie Feinberg, Dorothy Allison, and Audre Lorde.

WGSS 101 LGBTQ Lit. in the US
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-01.This course will explore how sex and gender intersect with other forms of difference— including race and class—in literature by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) authors, and authors who present LGBTQ characters and themes in their texts. Students will consider the impact of sexuality and gender on literature and experience. Our readings will include a rage of literary genres, such as essay, poetry, novel, drama, and film and we will focus on the interpretation of texts particularly through the lens of queer theory. Authors may include, among others: Gloria Anzaldúa, Tony Kushner, Adrienne Rich, Leslie Feinberg, Dorothy Allison, and Audre Lorde.

WRPG 211 Writing, Identity, & Queer St
Cross-listed with ENGL 221-01 and WGSS 351-01.Kate Bornstein writes: "I know I'm not a man...and I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not a woman either. The trouble is, we're living in a world that insists we be one or the other." In this reading and writing intensive course, students will investigate how we approach the space outside of “one or the other” through literature, film, and narrative more generally. Throughout the semester we will explore and engage critically with established and emerging arguments in queer theory, as well as read and watch texts dealing with issues of identity and identification. Although “queer” is a contested term, it describes—at least potentially—sexualities and genders that fall outside of normative constellations. Students will learn how to summarize and engage with arguments, and to craft and insert their own voice into the ongoing debates about the efficacy of queer theory and queer studies. Moreover, we’ll take on questions that relate “word” to “world” in order to ask: How might our theory productively intervene in LGBTQ civil rights discourse outside our classroom? How do we define queer and is it necessarily attached to sexual orientation? How do our own histories and narratives intersect with the works we analyze? Our course texts will pull from a range of genres including graphic novels, film, poetry, memoir, and fiction. Some texts may include Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Audre Lorde’s Zami, Jackie Kay's Trumpet, David Sedaris’ _Me Talk Pretty One Day_, and films such as _Paris is Burning_ and _Boys Don’t Cry_.

ENGL 221 Writing, Identity, & Queer St
Cross-listed with WGSS 351-02 and WRPG 211-01.Kate Bornstein writes: "I know I'm not a man...and I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not a woman either. The trouble is, we're living in a world that insists we be one or the other." In this reading and writing intensive course, students will investigate how we approach the space outside of “one or the other” through literature, film, and narrative more generally. Throughout the semester we will explore and engage critically with established and emerging arguments in queer theory, as well as read and watch texts dealing with issues of identity and identification. Although “queer” is a contested term, it describes—at least potentially—sexualities and genders that fall outside of normative constellations. Students will learn how to summarize and engage with arguments, and to craft and insert their own voice into the ongoing debates about the efficacy of queer theory and queer studies. Moreover, we’ll take on questions that relate “word” to “world” in order to ask: How might our theory productively intervene in LGBTQ civil rights discourse outside our classroom? How do we define queer and is it necessarily attached to sexual orientation? How do our own histories and narratives intersect with the works we analyze? Our course texts will pull from a range of genres including graphic novels, film, poetry, memoir, and fiction. Some texts may include Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Audre Lorde’s Zami, Jackie Kay's Trumpet, David Sedaris’ _Me Talk Pretty One Day_, and films such as _Paris is Burning_ and _Boys Don’t Cry_.

ENGL 331 The 19th Century Novel
The American writer Henry James notoriously referred to novels of the nineteenth century as “large, loose, baggy monsters.” This course focuses on the genre of the novel to study its form, and its function within the nineteenth-century imagination. Specifically, we will consider the nineteenth-century novel as an attempt to reflect and imagine society as a sprawling network through which individuals move and develop. Our focus will be on serialization and narrative structure as indicative of genre (sensation novel/ detective novel/ marriage plot), and our texts will include works by both British and American and authors. Writers may include, among others, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, and Wilkie Collins, as well as Henry James, James Fennimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and E.D.E.N. Southworth.

WGSS 351 Writing, Identity, & Queer St
Cross-listed with ENGL 221-01 and WRPG 211-01.Kate Bornstein writes: "I know I'm not a man...and I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not a woman either. The trouble is, we're living in a world that insists we be one or the other." In this reading and writing intensive course, students will investigate how we approach the space outside of “one or the other” through literature, film, and narrative more generally. Throughout the semester we will explore and engage critically with established and emerging arguments in queer theory, as well as read and watch texts dealing with issues of identity and identification. Although “queer” is a contested term, it describes—at least potentially—sexualities and genders that fall outside of normative constellations. Students will learn how to summarize and engage with arguments, and to craft and insert their own voice into the ongoing debates about the efficacy of queer theory and queer studies. Moreover, we’ll take on questions that relate “word” to “world” in order to ask: How might our theory productively intervene in LGBTQ civil rights discourse outside our classroom? How do we define queer and is it necessarily attached to sexual orientation? How do our own histories and narratives intersect with the works we analyze? Our course texts will pull from a range of genres including graphic novels, film, poetry, memoir, and fiction. Some texts may include Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, Audre Lorde’s Zami, Jackie Kay's Trumpet, David Sedaris’ _Me Talk Pretty One Day_, and films such as _Paris is Burning_ and _Boys Don’t Cry_.