Queer Politics/Queer Communities
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.