TITLE: QUEER "I"s

Reality shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, sitcoms like Will and Grace, and films like Saved! have recently brought queer (or GLBTQ) people to the forefront of the entertainment culture. At the same time, many media critics have begun to question whether increased queer "visibility" does not so much overcome as reproduce or invent new stereotypes--new "closets"--for queer people to inhabit. This course aims to explore issues surrounding the cultural conditions of queer visibility and to generate analyses of the signs of queerness displayed in three different genres of films and television shows: comedy, horror, and drama. Students will develop their composition skills in relation to the questions we ask and the different kinds of texts--essays, films, and TV shows--we analyze. Among the questions we will consider: What does it mean to be "out" on screen? How do media "mediate" queerness in relation to "reality"? And how do representations of queer identities - or what I am calling queer "I"s differ when produced by and for queers, as opposed to by and for non-queers? Be advised that this course will require four evening film screenings.