Alexia Kosmider has traveled the academic terrain of anthropology, American studies, literary studies, queer studies and documentary filmmaking during her years at RISD. Her early scholarly work focused on the writings of turn-of-the-century Native writers. She published Tricky Tribal Discourse, which examines the poetry, short stories and verbal traditions of Alexandra Posey (Muscogee Nation), and has published essays on Ora Eddleman Reed (Cherokee identified), who was editor of an early territorial newspaper.
Alexia also produced and directed documentaries, including TransJourney, which was awarded the Audience Award at the Palm Springs LGBTQ Film Festival (2015). Her current work entails storytelling through script writing, where she collaborates with fellow writer Marianne Messina. Their stories highlight underrepresented characters, including women and LGBTQ+ identified characters.
Small Steps in Black Birkenstocks, Alexia’s first script, follows Kerri, a transgender naval scientist; Lorie, a nerdy widowed lesbian; Lori’s friend Cooper, a gay Black art professor; and Stephen, a self-proclaimed chick magnet, as they trip and tangle their way through dating, uprooting our sense of what love embodies and what love can bring. Small Steps was selected for Toronto’s Female Gaze Film Festival (2018) and awarded the James Seaver Award from the Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2019.
Alexia’s second script, Milkwood Manor, features nature lover Emily, who is driven to rescue monarch butterflies and feels threatened when her daughter insists that she move to Florida. Emily not only fights for the monarch’s habitat and her place at the manor but also for the attention of a handsome vet. Milkweed Manor was awarded the Romantic Comedy Award at Boston’s Lonely Seal International Film, Screenplay and Music Festival (2022) and was a finalist in the Houston Comedy Film Festival (2020) and the Rhode Island International Film Festival (2021).
Currently Alexia is focusing on a TV pilot that features the “tea girls,” who gather regularly for salon-style discussion: a retired lesbian dean, a Black gay art professor, an angry songwriter and a dog-crazed nurse. She also continues to pursue her scholarly interests in queer film and theory and serves on the editorial board of InterAlia, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal on queer theory and literature.
Fall 2023 Courses
FIRST-YEAR LITERATURE SEMINAR
An introduction to literary study that helps students develop the skills necessary for college-level reading, writing, research and critical thinking. Through exposure to a variety of literary forms and genres, historical periods and critical approaches, students are taught how to read closely, argue effectively and develop a strong writing voice. The course is reading and writing intensive and organized around weekly assignments. There are no waivers for LAS-E101 except for transfer students who have taken an equivalent college course.
First-year Students are pre-registered for this course by the department.
Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Transfer Students register into the designated section(s).
Major Requirement | BFA
QUEER LITERATURE AND THEORY
In this course we will examine the ways in which queer culture becomes presented and inscribed from post-Stonewall (1969) until the present. We will examine various queer literatures from different ethnic, class, and cultural and national backgrounds such as Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon’s Gender Failure, Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits and Justin Torrres’s We the Animals. We will also read selected writings from queer theorists, including Judith Butler, Eve Sedgwick, and J. Halberstam to interpret the ways in which literature represents resistance to social and cultural repression, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination. We will attempt to address such important questions about the politics and social dynamics of queer sexualities and gender, closeting and homophobia and the ways in which queer writers explore such questions in their work.
Open to Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Graduate Students.
Wintersession 2024 Courses
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN QUEER FILM, 1990-2018
This course focuses on the intersectionalities of race and queer subjectivities in queer cinema. We will trace this development from the historical cinematic 1990s of New Queer Cinema (NQC), an era that encompasses an explosion of gay film visibility, to an exploration of present day queer cinema and the ways in which queer representations and queer identities are portrayed. We will study the stylistic developments and controversies of queer film, examining major innovations and changes as compared to films from the NQC era. Such questions as what's at stake in films that contest and re-imagine new queer subjectivities will be addressed during the course.