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Queer Politics, Queer Communities

ENGL 096.402
instructor(s):
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

What is sexuality? Does it exist in the body or 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 attempt to address such questions by introducing students to several of the classic texts in the history and theory of sexuality. We will trace the politics and meanings of non-normative sexualities and genders across time and in different communities. Topics will include sexology and empire, responses to HIV/AIDS, sex panics and sex radicalism, transgender histories, queer and feminist generations, queer spaces, gay normalization and the commodification of ‘queer,’ and the politics of race, class, and region. This course also serves as an introduction to several basic concepts in critical theory and in cultural studies.