Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

25 October 2011

Tales from Teaching

A student and I were discussing a paper she is going to write for my Violence, Ethics, and Representation class. I am encouraging them to write about anything they want, as long as it involves violence, ethics, and representation. So the topics are their own.

My student has decided she wants to write about some screen depictions of lesbians who are crime-fighters. We discuss books she should read and then she looks at me a little worried.

I'm afraid I am going to move too far away from violence if I do all of this research on representations of lesbians in film.

Oh, I say, well there's no worry there, really. Representations of lesbians have been mostly violent. They are invariably killed, usually violently, by the ends of films.

Okay, she says, but I really want to focus on lesbians in film and I'm just worried that I won't talk enough about violence.

No, I say sadly, You misunderstand me. You won't actually be able to avoid it. 

And then I say: The history of lesbians in film is a violent one.

Got it, she says.

And we look at each other and both feel that there isn't much else to say. See you Thursday.