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Queer Politics/Queer Communities

ENGL 096.401
crosslisted as: GSWS 096
MW 3:30-5
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Sector IV: Interdisciplinary Humanities and Social Sciences of the College's General Education Curriculum
Cultural Diversity in the US of the College's General Education Curriculum

What is sexuality? Does it exist in the body or in the mind? Is it a collection of actions, desires, and fantasies, or is it rather a disposition, a way of seeing oneself, an identity? Does what we want depend on who we are? Does what we do define who we are? This course will address such questions by introducing students to several classic texts in the history and theory of sexuality and by looking at key moments in the struggle for sexual and gender freedom. The history we trace will focus on the effects of the “invention of homosexuality” in the nineteenth century; the cultural moment of gay liberation; black feminism; the “Sex Wars” of the 1980s; the rise of queer theory; queer of color critique; responses to HIV/AIDS; and transgender politics. The course will end with a turn to contemporary debates about the meaning of “queer,” critiques of marriage, sexuality and human rights, policing, and gentrification.