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LIT 326 Love and Sex in Pre-Modern World Literature

This course will study expressions of love and sexuality in ancient world literatures. Students will explore how ancient literary traditions engaged eroticism and imagined possibilities for sexual being. By closely analyzing literature from distinct pre-modern global traditions, students will learn the terminology, theories, and methodologies of contemporary comparative literature approaches. Students will also apply contemporary critical lenses to the study of love and sexuality in pre-modern world literatures, such as empire studies, body and disability studies, queer theory, feminism, eco-erotics, and anticolonialism. All texts will be read in English or English translation.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 2, 2024 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze literary constructions of the body and sexuality in pre-modern texts
  • Situate pre-modern works of literature in their respective time periods and geographical locations
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and value of comparative literature approaches to the study of love and sexuality in pre-modern literatures
  • Identify syncretic traditions that contribute to representations of love and sexuality in pre-modern literature
  • Explain the complexities of reading literary texts in translation
  • Explain connections between pre-modern literatures and contemporary literary traditions and life
  • Apply literary terms, contemporary theoretical lenses, reading strategies, and analytical methods at an upper-division level

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.