Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

The Literature of Adoption


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Literature devoted to adoption has been with us from the start of ancient drama, the history of the English novel, and throughout avant-garde experiments in poetry and new media. This seminar will analyze ten exemplary texts that not only illuminate the complexity of adoption itself, but also make vivid why adoption narratives are central to literary genre and form.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Peggy Phelan

Peggy Phelan

"I am the Ann O’Day Maples Professor of Theater & Performance Studies and of English. I love art and am especially interested in performance. I am interested in all aspects of adoption today and love to hear new stories about it. I also read widely (although I only trust myelf to teach texts whose primary language is English) and believe that interdiciplinary thinking is the future of all thought. So please don't worry if you don't feel you are 'literary' enough for this course. Everyone has a story and we will read across genre and also look at video and blogs and youtube platforms.

"As the Denning Family Director of the Stanford Arts Institute, I support and prioritize interdisciplinary arts curricula and research. I am the author of Unmarked: the politics of performance (Routledge, 1993); Mourning Sex: performing public memories (Routledge, 1997); and editor and contributor to Live Art in Los Angeles (Routledge, 2012). I am also a co-editor of Acting Out: Feminist Performances (University of Michigan Press, 1993), The Ends of Performance (New York University Press, 1997) and Contact Warhol Photography Without End (MIT Press, 2018)."