Communication And Culture | Identity and Difference
C610 | 1132 | Evans


TOPIC: SEX, LOVE AND POLITICS

In 1989 Tina Turner asked "What's love got to do with it?" It will be the
object of this course to explore answers to this question, focusing on the
intersections between sex, love and the sphere of political action.  The
first part of the course lays the groundwork for our investigations
through a look at some the key debates surrounding the emergence of
identity as a key concept structuring political and cultural practice.
Topics include the multiculturalism, the essentialism/anti-essentialism
controversy, the alleged balkanization of American culture through
identity politics and postmodern reformulations of identity and
difference.

Foucault and his critics will launch us into the second section, which
examines the relationship between sexuality and subjectivity, the struggle
to articulate and defend marginalized sexualities, the revamping of
masculinity, the contest between gender and sexuality in queer theory and
the ambivalent location of the body with respect to discourse.  The third
and last section of the course tackles love, and will include a look at
some of the institutions of love such as marriage, the ideology of
romance, interracial relations, and uses/abuses of the personal voice in
academic theory.

Readings for the course draw on research from a range of disciplines
including cultural studies, film and literary criticism, critical legal
theory, sociology, gender studies, and queer theory.  The course follows a
seminar format, including discussion and where possible, video clips.
Students will be asked to contribute two short (6-8 page) papers which
will be distributed to the class for discussion.