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Topics in Gender, Sexuality, and Literature: Queer Identity, Desire, Practice

ENGL 290.601
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

In June of 1969, a group of transsexuals, drag queens, lesbians, and gay men fought back against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. Their heroic display of resistance is widely acknowledged as sparking the gay rights movement. In this course we will examine how queer writers have represented LGBT identities and experiences in post-Stonewall literature. Topics include: the impact of race and class on sexuality (and vice versa); the relationship between feminism and lesbian practice; AIDS activism and commemorating the dead; queer performance; the significance of place, real and imagined, in contemporary gay culture; and the debate over same-sex marriage. We will read from a variety of literary genres—novels, poems, plays, short stories, and memoir. Authors may include Tony Kushner, Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Alison Bechdel, Leslie Feinberg, David Wojnarowicz, Katherine Dunn, Arturo Islas, Randall Kenan, and JT LeRoy.