English | Feminist Literary and Cultural Criticism
L389 | 11935 | Scott Herring

Scott Herring

11935 - 1:00p-2:15p TR (30 students) 3 cr., A&H.

TOPIC:  “Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Studies”

Though it might be tempting to spend sixteen weeks reviewing Queer
Eye or The L Word, “Introduction to GLTBQ Studies” wants you to dig
a bit deeper into queer pasts and even queerer presents.  Focusing
intensely on divisions within U.S. sexual cultures, the course aims
to make alphabet soup out of sexual norms and their deviations.
First, we will investigate how sexual nonconformists position
themselves as a shared group identity. Second, we’ll examine how
sexual distinctions between gendered, raced, and classed bodies have
been historically produced and culturally contested.  Third, we’ll
concentrate on what commonalities Gs may—or may not—have with Ls,
and how the increasing visibility of Bs and Ts has altered the
public face of contemporary queer life.  Throughout, this
introduction asks that you begin to think comparatively about (homo)
sexualities.  To do so, it crosses multiple fields such as social
history, critical race studies, anthropology, women’s studies,
literary studies, psychology, cultural studies, film studies, and
sociology.  With a little luck, we will not reach any consensus on
any particular topic. We will, instead, negotiate how sexualities
have enabled particular persons to articulate—and disarticulate—
themselves within social bodies both past and present, and we will
chart how these sexualities have, for better or for worse,
translated across the twentieth-century and beyond.