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Students in LGBT Studies explore the cultural and historical construction of sex, sexuality and gender in cross-cultural contexts. The program examines the lives of sexual and gender minorities throughout history, as well as the relation of gender and sexuality to the social body more generally. Among its primary concerns are the study of the embodiment, cultures, political formations, and creative expressions of queer and transgender people. It also fosters critical analysis of the formation of sexual and gender identities, and the role of sexuality and gender across human time and space. LGBT Studies is therefore not only for, by, or about LGBT people, but seeks to provide an analysis of sex and gender as they function in relation to human history and its cultural diversity.
LGBT Studies draws on methodologies from a range of fields in the humanities and social sciences, including history, anthropology, sociology, public policy, rhetoric, literary studies, religious studies, cultural studies and art history. Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses that theorize practices and concepts of sex, sexuality and gender within an intersectional framework.
The program offers both a major and a minor, each of which may be either disciplinary or interdisciplinary, depending upon a student's selection of courses. No more than two course equivalents may be counted toward the major. Core courses deal directly and extensively with LGBT issues. Elective courses are not necessarily focused on LGBT issues, yet include these issues as a recurrent theme, constituting a considerable portion of the readings and discussions. Perspectives courses may not deal with LGBT issues directly, but provide important theoretical and/or methodological tools for their analysis. Additional courses may also count toward the major or minor with the approval of faculty adviser and program coordinator(s).
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (B.A.)
disciplinary, 10 courses
Two core courses; two perspective courses; five additional courses selected either from the core group or the electives; and a capstone course, which can only be undertaken after completing at least eight courses toward the major. The capstone course should involve close work with a faculty adviser to create an internship, independent study, or Honors project that serves to integrate material from throughout the major. The courses in a major program must include at least one course from each division and at least three courses in one division.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (B.A.)
interdisciplinary, 10 courses
All of the requirements for the disciplinary major, but, included within the 10 courses, there must be work from at least two departments and at least three courses in each of two or more divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts).
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
disciplinary, 5 courses
Two core courses; one perspective course; and two additional courses selected from either the core group or the electives.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR
interdisciplinary, 5 courses
All of the requirements for the disciplinary minor, but the five courses of the minor must include courses in at least two departments and at least two courses in each of two divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fine and performing arts).
LGBT 101 Introduction to LGBT Studies
AMST 310 Sexual Minorities in America
ENG 281 Literature of Sexual Minorities
ENG 381 Sexuality and American Literature
PPOL 219 Sexual Minority Movements and Public Policy
LGBT 201 Transgender Identiities & Politics
LGBT 204 Bodies of Difference
LGBT 301 Queer Geographies and Migrations
AFS 240 African/Asian/Caribbean Women's Texts
ARTH 230 The Age of Michelangelo
EDUC 331 Rethinking Families
ENG 110 Things Fall Apart
ENG 304 Feminist Literary Theory
FSCT 302 Art Work: Gender, Performance and Capitalism
SPNE 404 Lorca and Almodovar
WMST 204 The Politics of Health
ANTH 110 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
MDSC 100 Intro to Media and Society
WMST 100 Intro to Women's Studies
WMST 247 The Psychology of Women
101 Introduction to LGBT Studies This course traces the Western emergence of queer claims to public space and political agency through an investigation of four distinct periods in LGBT identity and community formation: the pre-Stonewall era of homophile organizations and “the closet;” the gay liberation era and its explosive struggles over public space; the era of AIDS and its accompanying conservative backlash; and the current era of globalization, conflict, and economic collapse. Combining historical readings and documentaries with germinal essays in feminist and queer theory, the course surveys the development and emergence of modern LGBT identities as they have defined themselves in alliance with or in opposition to one another, society, and the state.
201 Transgender Identiities & Politics This course expands the field of LGBT Studies by examining transgender history, identity formation, and politics. Additionally, it promotes student understanding of the cultural and historical construction of sex/gender from a specifically transgender perspective. The course asks students to analyze transgender identities through the framework of feminist, queer, anti-racist, and social justice perspectives, theorizing how transgender experiences intersect with ideas about sexuality, race, class, law, and kinship. In doing so, it challenges dominant assumptions about gender and sexual identities internal to both U.S. culture as well as feminist and LGB discourses. Course materials include books, films, and scholarly essays from a variety of disciplines, including history, anthropology, critical theory, philosophy, literature, legal studies, and film studies.
203 Queer Popular Culture Entertainments, recreation, social gatherings, and stage spectacles have a long and deep relationship to sexual and gender identities, communities, and the politics that emerge from them. In this course we will examine the history of queer gender and sexuality in relation to popular entertainment discourses and their deployment in burlesque halls, balls, theaters, musicals, music festivals, films, television, parades, and other spaces. Our approach will be primarily historical, as we consider how modern genders and sexualities are playfully forged via social interaction in spaces of entertainment. Our focus will be the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Students should emerge from the program with a sophisticated understanding of how popular media has related to the display and communication of sexual and gendered identities and communities. In addition to the physical environment, we will attend closely to representations on stage, and on screens both large and small. Both stage and screen are locations-often battlegrounds-where ideas about queer genders and sexualities are unfolded, communicated, and contested. We will study many films and some television. Our working assumption is that our classroom space can itself become a site for the intellectual pleasure of understanding gender and sexuality afresh.
204 Bodies of Difference This course brings queer studies and disability studies together to analyze modern scientific and institutional languages about the queer body, examining how the archive of queer self-documentation interacts with and confronts "official " forms of knowledge. The course engages critically with the development of modern science by tracing its cultural and political effects on queer and disabled bodies as these subjects historically reported them. It promotes an understanding of the limitations and oppressive institutional effects of scientific thought from the perspective of those labeled "crippled, " 'deformed, " "perverted, " "criminal," and " insane" by an emerging complex of discourses: medicine, psychiatry, the law, demographics, and capitalist economics. We will consider the political and historiographic qualities of memoir, poetry, painting, self-portraiture, performance art, ethnography and film as we analyze how diverse queer subjects have historically struggled to create and understand what life inside a "queer body" might mean.
205 Sexuality and Israel/Palestine This course will introduce the history, politics, and culture of Israel/Palestine in order to understand the impact of nationalism on daily life. One of the key aspects of the relationship between Israel/Palestine is the politics of sexuality, so we will simultaneously think critically about sexual identity and the histories of sexuality. Students will explore the connections between nationalism, sexual identity, and political economy. We will work through the ways nationalism constructs gender roles, and as a result, how advocating for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people must necessarily contend with nationalism. This class will analyze political rhetoric, strategies, and tactics within the context of the occupation, alongside films, literature, and personal essays. We will ask the following questions: Why is focusing on sexuality, particularly queer sexuality, important for understanding the relationship of Israel/Palestine? What defines LGBTQ rights and freedoms under occupation? What changes in our discussions of sexual politics in the context of the Middle East? How and when do LGBT Israelis and Palestinians come into contact with each other? What kinds of politics do they mobilize, together and apart?
301 Queer Geographies and Migrations This course explores the relations of historical queer identity-formation to cultural memory and aesthetic practice by addressing a series of interrelated questions:
Are all LGBT people "queer?" Who do those categories enable and who do these terms exclude? What are the various historical relationships of sexual/gendered practices and politics to identity? How have LGBT/queer contact and culture been imagined and communicated over time/distance? How do desires and identities emerge through the stories of individual lives and through the stories of cultures? What role has aesthetic representation played in the creation and communication of the queer political imagination across time and space?
303 Queer Methods Because the word "queer" asks that we question and destabilize systems and hierarchies, Queer Methods will explore the question of whether or not "queer methods" are possible what are they and how do we access them and use them? Situated as it is in both theory and social action, this course will focus on methods for both research and social action with a particular focus on praxis, cultural production, social action, and inclusivity-assuming that these are core concerns for queering inquiry and production. The course will approach the problem of "method" from a wide-range of interdisciplinary perspectives, considering how a range of LGBTQ scholars have attempted to queer methods. Students will also explore the ways these methods have both opened up new possibilities as well as restricted and restrained LGBTQ subjects. Finally , as part of their problematizing of these methods, students will also consider ways that queer subjects might call for new methods, what those may be, and will be encouraged to generate new methods.
304 Queer Theories This course delves into the variety of theories developed by LGBTQ scholars and activists to theorize non-and anti-normative modes of sociality, sexuality, gender, politics, art, and cultural expression. The course prepares students for sophisticated analyses of conditions of social inequality and their grounding in gender, race, class , sexuality, and ability, and how these discourses themselves are formulated through hegemonically enforced ideas about nature and power. Queer theories interrogate categories of " the natural" and "the normative" and the manner in which these categories permit the creation of other, abjected categories such as " the deviant," "the perverted," and "the irrational." Facility with queer theory gives students powerful discursive tools with which to decenter, deconstruct, and analyze systems of naturalized oppression.
403 LGBTQ Senior Capstone Seminar This senior seminar is a culminating experience for the major, requiring majors to engage in a sustained research/praxis project which brings together queer methods and theories and applies them to a socially engaged context. Students will also be exposed to the most recent debates and developments in the field, and be asked to situate their work in this context. Professional development will also be emphasized by bringing majors together to form community and intellectual exchange, preparing them to enter into a wider job market and/or graduate level studies with a no-traditional major.