What's Left of Queer Theory Now?
In the wake of the liberal mainstreaming of gay and lesbian rights in the United States, this upper-division graduate seminar explores what is politically and intellectually left of queer theory at this juncture. The course assumes students have critical familiarity with classic texts that founded the field (such as Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality, Sigmund Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Gayle Rubin’s “The Traffic in Women,” and Eve Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet). The class will be organized thematically. The topics we examine will include queer relationality and the anti-social thesis; queer of color critique, racial violence, and the shrinking public sphere; area studies, anti-colonial thought, and the globalization of sexuality; posthumanism and science and technology studies; and disability and transgender issues. The seminar tracks a year-long speaker series under the same rubric that brings together some of the most prominent theorists in the field to address the seminar theme. Students are expected to attend and to participate in these sessions.