Queer Politics Queer Communities
"Only the establishment doesn’t need theory."
—Angela Y. Davis
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? How have communities organized themselves historically around sexuality, and what are the fractures and solidarities in contemporary LGBT communities? 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. Topics will include sexology, responses to HIV/AIDS, sex panics and sex radicalism, transgender histories, gay marriage, 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 key concepts in cultural studies and social theory.