Chloe McConnell, class of '17, has majored in English and minored in Gender and Sexuality Studies. This academic interest is what sparked the idea for her project, Gender and Fiction. Her project saught to combine her two focuses into one cohesive body of creative work which analyzed issues of gender and sexuality through fiction. She plans to continue her writing in an Honor's Project of the same theme. After college, her goal is to continue writing on these issues in graduate school.
The conception of this project came during a class about feminist theater. I found these plays (Goodbye My Fancy, The Children’s Hour, Machinal), which were supposed to represent feminism, lacking in many ways. I’ve been reading stories critically through the lenses of gender and sexuality studies throughout my education. I wanted to insert my own voice as a writer into the gaps I’ve identified in creative conversations about gender normativity.
During this project, I continued writing feminist authors like Sylvia Plath, Alice Walker, and Kimberle Crenshaw for inspiration, knowledge, and to learn more about the history of feminist fiction and critical theory.
The outcome of this project is a cohesive collection of three short stories all themed around issues of gender and sexuality.