Colgate University

First-Year Course Offerings — Fall 2022

FSEM 148   Sex and the Global City
RestrictionsNo 2025 2024 2023
DistributionHuman Thought and Expression
Core AreaNone

Faculty Profile for Professor Rajasingham

The title of the class comes from the popular television series Sex and the City, in which four professional women discover the freedoms and opportunities New York City offers. The series, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as the writer, illuminates the sexually liberating nature of New York where Parker and her girlfriends are also empowered to have good careers, travel, and consume all that the city has to offer. Other series that may share similar narrative structures are Girls and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Students explore some of the hidden and glossed over aspects of such depictions of global cities relating to questions of race, gender, sexuality, migration, labor and class. Students consider sex in its multiple iterations—as gender, motherhood, sexual violence, masculinities, and sexualities. Students also explore what we mean by global cities. How do they enable experimentation with identities and sexualities, allowing for the movement and meeting of people, but also stratify, hierarchize, and separate people from one another?Students also explore how the texts under consideration discuss questions of sex, globalization and urbanization through experiments with form. Texts include: Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Jamaica Kincaid, A Small Place; Michelle Cliff, No Telephone to Heaven; Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Gaspar de Alba, Desert Blood: the Juarez Murders; Maquilapolis, Life and Debt; and Paris is Burning. Students who successfully complete this seminar will earn credit for ENGL 208 and satisfy one half of the human thought and expression areas of inquiry requirement.

Professor Rajasingham teaches Postcolonial literatures, Critical Race Studies, Feminism, Globalization, Marxism and Performance Studies. At present she is working on a project on South Asian diasporas in the US, South Africa and England, where she explores South Asian solidarities with Black struggles.