English | Studies in Literary Theory & Criticism
L707 | 27025 | Lochrie

2:30p – 3:45p TR

This course will focus on the advent and development of queer theory
in literary and cultural criticism.  Queer theory is usually
considered to begin with the first volume of the History of
Sexuality by Michel Foucault, and to have evolved through the
literary criticism of such figures as Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,
Jonathan Dollimore, and Judith Butler.  In this course, we will not
only study the key theoretical developers of queer theory, but some
of its debates with feminist theory that occurred during the early
efforts of queer theorists to establish the parameters of this new
theory.  Among the topics we will be addressing in connection with
queer theory are the early historical questions that emerged from
Foucault’s work, queer epistemologies in Sedgwick’s work, theories
of the bodily and desire, the politics of transgender and –
sexualities, and the formation of queer communities, particularly in
Michael Warner and Lauren Berlant’s notion of “counterpublics.”
Finally, we will consider the various tensions between social
scientific approaches to the study of sexuality and queer studies by
visiting and researching IU’s Kinsey Institute.  We will include a
few literary texts along with our theoretical regimen and one film
by way of practicing queer theory and testing its historical and
theoretical investments.  Requirements for the seminar will include
individual reports and a 20-page research paper at the end of the