UPCOMING COURSE: ENGL 466: “Queer Inquiries: Introduction to LGBT Studies” (Winter 2013)

As a newly minted Ph.D. and Acting Instructor (AI) for the Department of English at the University of Washington, I am teaching a full load next quarter.  Two classes.  The second class is a survey of LGBT studies and queer theory:

ENGL 466 A: Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies: “Queer Inquiries: Introduction to LGBT Studies”
Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-5:20 PM
Winter 2013

DRAWING INSPIRATION from Raymond William’s influential Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society and Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler’s Keywords for American Cultural Studies, this class will identify and explore some of the key concepts, moves, and key terms of the interdisciplinary fields that make up lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer studies. Topics, themes, methods, and lines of inquiry will include:

• histories of sexuality and sexual identity;
• the politics of identity, embodiment, and desire;
• heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, normativity, and other forms of oppression;
• queer resistance, activism, liberation, and worldmaking;
• intersectionality with race, gender, class, family, religion, ability, and nation;
• and finally, queer temporalities, spaces, and technologies.

THROUGH THE LENSES of literature, scholarship, new and old media, and popular culture, our class will trace and trouble theoretical and everyday understandings of LGBT and Q terms, figures, bodies, and experiences. Williams argued, “I have emphasized this process of the development of Keywords because it seems to me to indicate its dimension and purpose. It is not a dictionary or glossary of a particular academic subject. It is not a series of footnotes to dictionary histories or definitions of a number of words. It is, rather, the record of an inquiry into a vocabulary: a shared body of words and meanings…” This class therefore is all about reading, thinking, writing, and contributing to LGBT studies’ shared body of words, ideas, and theories.

THEORETICAL TEXTS will include in whole or in part: Michel Foucault, Sandy Stone, Judith Butler, Michael Warner, Jose Esteban Muñoz, Judith Halberstam, Gayle S. Rubin, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Adrienne Rich, Kobena Mercer, John D’Emilio, Monique Wittig, Lee Edelman, Sigmund Freud, Samuel Delany, Havelock Ellis, Susan Stryker, Roderick A. Ferguson, Donna Haraway, Alan Turing, Nina Wakeford, and others. Literary texts will include Nella Larsen’s Passing, James Baldwin’s Another Country, and Octavia Butler’s Adulthood Rites.

A REQUIREMENT for this class is a well-developed curiosity and a willingness to explore and interrogate interdisciplinary lines of inquiry. Our class will be organized around an intensive survey of readings engaging literature, scholarship, old and new media, and popular culture. Moreover, you will produce three papers and contribute to a class Tumblr. Students seeking W-Credit will be accommodated.


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