This course will offer an introduction to the burgeoning interdisciplinary field of sexuality studies in part through examining historical, legal, literary, filmic, cultural studies, sociological, and popular texts, as well as work done under the umbrella of queer theory. It explores the role of race, class, religion, science, region, and nation in the construction of modern gender and sexual identities and in the lived experiences of dissident genders and sexualities. We will examine a range of issues, including histories and strategies of resistance; transgender and intersex theory and activism; critiques of the white racial hegemony of lesbian and gay studies; the consequences of gay marriage; the politics of AIDS and its theoretical implications; globalization and sexuality; the rise of queer visibility and its relation to commodity culture; and recent conceptualizations of homonormativity. The goal of the course is not to achieve any kind of political or intellectual consensus, but to have rigorous debate over some of the key issues in queer studies.
Format: seminar; discussion
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Short quizzes, participation, mid-term essay exam, online discussion forum. (No final exam or final paper this semester.)
None. WGSS 101 may be helpful as background knowledge, but is not required.
Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies majors, short statement of interest in case of over-enrollment
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course examines sexual diversity in various forms and asks students to interrogate questions of privilege and positionality, including the intersectional contemplation of sexuality's relationship to race, ethnicity, ability, class, religion, and other axes of identity. It investigates not only sexual difference, but the history of sexual identity and progressive narratives of "gay rights" that have developed over time.
AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives