Jill Lewis, professor of literature and gender studies, holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in French literature from Newnham College, Cambridge University, England.
She teaches courses exploring the connections between culture and politics - with specific focus on questions of gender and sexual identities, militarism, post colonialism, and cultural difference. She has been teaching at Hampshire one semester a year for over 25 years, with a home base in Europe.
Her interests in cultural representation, theatre performance, educational processes and the politics of gender have linked importantly for her with HIV/AIDS prevention education in recent years, and involved work in Norway, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, Estonia, Congo, and locally in Holyoke and on campus with Hampshire students.
In this course we will read writers who disturb experiences of memory, perception, the body and desire itself, rupturing a familiar, stable 'reality', and offering in its stead the elusive workings of the unconscious. The fiction of Proust and Woolf uniquely leaves a trace of this process of disturbance, a rich vein of language in which each maps and remaps the shifting shoreline of consciousness and desire - processes that change engagement with the world. Their work interrogates the routines and habits that disallow ambivalence and fluidity. Each explores spaces from which change can emerge, as the closure of social conventions and habits of gender become productively disturbed and critically remapped. In Lacan's work, we will explore desire as founded in radical loss and lack, the chaining of signifiers in language as key to the way the unconscious reveals itself, and creativity as a particular response to desire. Students should anticipate a challenging reading process. After engaging with the texts and responding to the art of Proust and Woolf through discussion and short papers, each student will undertake a creative project of her or his own and write about their process of creativity. Readings will include Woolf's short fiction, To the Lighthouse and The Waves; readings from Proust's The Way by Swann?s and In the shadow of Young Girls in Flower, and excerpts from The Prisoner and the Fugitive and Time Regained (using new Penguin edition translations), as well as Lacanian theories of sexuality and selections from Lacan?s crits.
This Division III seminar will provide a forum for Division III students working on a wide spectrum of creative projects that intersect with issues of social justice, social and political change. The seminar will be explore some new shared readings but will be structured collaboratively by participants and will explore a common selection of short readings/ viewings / activities alongside student presentations and discussion of their work. The seminar will foster interdisciplinary discussions about the very diverse creative approaches and practices that can forge new insights into questions of power, exploitation, discrimination, inertia, neglect etc. , looking at different ways creative arts can inspire attentiveness to social issues, stir understanding and longing for social change - and spark or communicate different levels of engagement in social justice issues. The readings/ viewings/ listenings will be selected in dialogue with participating students and the angles explored influenced by their concerns. The seminar is for Division III students working in any creative/art medium linked to some aspect of social awareness and transformation. It aims to foster interdisciplinary creative dialogues and insights - and will draw inspiration from visits from creative practitioners in the Valley.
Professor of Literature and Gender Studies
Mail Code SS
Franklin Patterson Hall G-14
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002