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Junior Colloquium: Critical Queer Studies

AMST 201
Spring 2011
Section: 01  
Certificates: Social, Cultural and Critical Theory

This junior colloquium will give students a solid theoretical foundation in the field of queer studies. Although "queer" is a contested term, it describes--at least potentially--sexualities, genders, and other social positionalities that fall outside normative constellations. However, as queer studies has been institutionalized in the academy, in popular culture, and in contemporary political movements, many suggest that today, "queer" shorthands gay and lesbian (or LGBT), or is too easily co-optable (e.g., Queer Eye for the Straight Guy), or that queer studies' construction of the body, desire, and sexuality effaces or ignores crucial material conditions, bodily experiences, or cultural differences.

This course, designated as a theory-based, reading-intensive seminar, will address these debates. After a brief exploration of some of the foundational works in queer theory, we will focus on the relationships--and disagreements--between queer studies and other modes of theory designed to illuminate and critique various forms of power, marginality, privilege, and normativity. We will emphasize critical race theory, transgender studies, cross-cultural perspectives, Marxism, feminist theory, and disability studies in their intersection with queer experiences, bodies, performances, and desires. Rather than understanding queer studies as a coherent school of thought, we will continuously problematize the field, politics, modes of analysis, and theoretical debates that are understood as queer theory. Toward this end, this course requires critical engagement with these debates and material. Throughout, we will ask, What kinds of bodies or desires does queer describe? What are the politics of queer? What are the promises of queer theory, according to its proponents? What are the perils of queer theory, according to its critics? What is the meaning of queer activism and politics today? What is the future of queer?

This course is excellent preparation for a queer studies concentration in American studies.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on NOV-20-2017
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