Queer Lit Histories

Welcome to English 181!

Queerness means many things to many different people, and it has generally not meant the same thing throughout time, space, or across geographies. While that makes studying exactly what “queerness” is slightly more difficult, it also makes it all the more diverse and exciting. 

In this online course, we will be introduced to key concepts in queer, queer of color, and trans theory through works of art, including questions and themes of representation in media, the role of society in identity formation, and other issues that arise from focusing on the histories of queer literatures. We will also be reading about various intersectionalities that coincide with queerness, such as race, gender expression, and disability.

The course will mainly focus on developing our writing and reading skills. Students will be challenged to think and engage critically with literary materials and asked to write thoughtfully, to learn how to argue opinions and ideas about art and aesthetics, and to learn about the importance and impact of writing on queer politics and activism.

Though we will primarily look at written texts, we will also consider other cultural objects, including music, visual art, and film. Specifically, we will be looking at objects produced by queer people, or at least consumed by a certain segment of the queer population. By getting a glimpse of the artistic cultures from and for queer people, we will focus on the vast differences across the spectrum of what we might consider to constitute “queer” things or people. 

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