The students in my class, The Sounds of Silence: A Biodiversity of Mute and Quiet Women in a World of Brutal Noise,* made silence erotic. The best example of this is Ria Stubbs-Trevino’s funny and profound scrapbook, “My Hot Date With a Book: A Modern Tale of Young Love.” Ria wrote a paper to accompany her pictorial and verbal masterpiece in which she explained that she wanted to record our erotic relationship with reading books. Profound and funny, I finished it wanting more.
Here is the scrapbook. Just to look at, it’s unassuming….
But once you open it up…
Taking Carol Clover’s Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film on a date proved to be funny, but also enabled Ria to open up the texts we read in class in new ways.
Ria scattered dating tips and her answers throughout, enlightening us not just on her date, but also how we associate with others romantically and erotically.
I hope Ria will consider making this a series. Or follow it up with further adventures. Do they date some more, break up, but end up together??
* This is the course description:
This course looks at silent women, quiet women, and mute women. Sometimes their hush is self-imposed, other times it is violently forced upon them. Passing, they erase their race and gender orientation. Yet, even with their tongues cut out, women speak. Sexually violated, they insist on their story. Enslaved, they shape their ends. Philomela—raped and mutilated—survives as a mythic emblem of female voicelessness. Some texts we look at are modern novels that tell the stories of women denied their chance at speech—in feminist versions of Homer’s Odyssey, Beowulf, and Jane Eyre. In a variety of texts –from Roman myth, Icelandic saga, and medieval religious sign language texts to a cross-dressed female knight, victimized wife, and deaf nun—we will attempt to hear these quiet voices from the past and rowdily proclaim their vibrancy for their future.