Unit 2: We’re here, we’re queer

Please complete readings before the class date on which they are listed.
Readings may be changed, so please check back regularly!


Week 6: Gay and lesbian cultures in the first half of the 20th century

Mon 10/6:
Queer America: Chapter 2, especially “Organizing Personal Lives in the 19th Century”); Chapter 3, especially “Life in the Cities to the Twenties” and “The Jazz Age” (including all subsections); Chapter 4, especially “Images versus Realities” and “A Homosexual Minority”
Recommended: all of chapters 2, 3 and 4.
George Chauncey, “Forging a Gay World in the Streets” (ELMS)

Wed 10/8: [groups lead discussion]
Elizabeth Lapowski Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis, “Butch-Fem Sexuality during the 1940s and 1950s” (ELMS)
Leslie Feinberg, from Stone Butch Blues (ELMS) *warning for descriptions of sexual violence*
Audre Lorde, from Zami (ELMS)
Watch online (ELMS): If These Walls Could Talk 2, 1961 section (2000)


Online writing task 5 (complete 4 over the semester, at least 1 per unit)
Due Friday 10/10.
Click here while logged in to write a post.
This week’s readings are a whistle stop tour of LGBT history; perhaps it will inspire some of you to take a more in-depth class! Select just one story, individual, group, or idea from the textbook or class discussion that appealed to you (it can be something we discussed in class), and explain what it was that caught your attention.

AND/OR: If you were part of a group that led discussion this week, you have the option to write a blog entry about the text you worked with. In addition to exploring the reading/film itself, explain why your group chose the questions/passages you did and discuss whether the in-class conversation went the way you expected.


Week 7: Gay liberation? Stonewall and its contexts

Mon 10/13:
Queer America chapters 5 and 6
Transgender History chapter 3
Samuel R. Delany, “Coming/Out” (ELMS)

Wed 10/15: [groups lead discussion]
Selections from In the Life: a Black Gay Anthology (ELMS)
Cherrié Moraga, from Loving in the War Years (ELMS)
Watch online: Tongues Untied (1989)


Online writing task 6 (complete 4 over the semester, at least 1 per unit)
Due Friday 10/17.
Click here while logged in to write a post.
In the readings for this week, we see the origin of many icons of LGBT pride – and we see the sometimes complicated roles they played in the individual lives of LGBTQ people. Write about any way you perceive the legacy of LGBT liberation movements in our current moment: do you think that they have been successful? In what ways are they still needed? Who have they left out?

AND/OR: If you were part of a group that led discussion this week, you have the option to write a blog entry about the text you worked with. In addition to exploring the reading/film itself, explain why your group chose the questions/passages you did and discuss whether the in-class conversation went the way you expected.


Week 8: AIDS and its movements
*warning for graphic imagery of illness, death, and verbal and physical abuse throughout this week’s readings*

Mon 10/20:
Queer America chapter 7, especially “From Carter to Reagan,” “The Challenge of AIDS,” and “Visibility, Media, and Culture.”
David Wojnarowicz, from Close to the Knives (ELMS)
Watch online: Silverlake Life: The View From Here (1993)
Recommended viewing: The Normal Heart (2014)

Wed 10/22: [groups lead discussion]
Douglas Crimp, “How to Have Promiscuity in an Epidemic” and excerpts from AIDS Demo Graphics (ELMS)
Visit Surviving and Thriving exhibit at the School of Public Health (Main NIH exhibit page)
Class finishes 15 minutes early for Michelle Singletary event in WMST.


Online writing task 7 (complete 4 over the semester, at least 1 per unit)
Due Friday 10/24.
Click here while logged in to write a post.
This week’s readings barely scratch the surface of the movements and representations that surrounded the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s. For this writing task, find an image, text, movie, or book that we have not discussed in class, and write about how it depicts the epidemic. It’s okay to choose short excerpts from longer books or films, or to pick something you were familiar with before class started. You might notice that the stories told by more mainstream representations are very different in tone to the ones we focused on; why do you think that might be?

AND/OR: If you were part of a group that led discussion this week, you have the option to write a blog entry about the text you worked with. In addition to exploring the reading/film itself, explain why your group chose the questions/passages you did and discuss whether the in-class conversation went the way you expected.


Week 9: Media and mainstreaming

Mon 10/27: [groups lead discussion]
Andy Medhurst, “One Queen and His Screen” (ELMS)
Ann M. Ciasullo, “Making Her (In)Visible: Cultural Representations of Lesbianism and the Lesbian Body in the 1990s” (ELMS)
José Muñoz, “Pedro Zamora’s Real World of Counterpublicity” (ELMS)
Recommended for background: Queer America chapter 8
Know your topic for the LGBTQ Movement Research assignment by today!

Wed 10/29:
Martin Manalansan, “Queer Love in the Age of War and Shopping”
Recommended for background: Queer America chapter 9
Watch: Brokeback Mountain (2005)


Online writing task 8 (complete 4 over the semester, at least 1 per unit)
Due Friday 10/31.
Click here while logged in to write a post.
What are the queer media images you recall best? Find a clip on YouTube that’s an example of LGBTQ representation. Contextualize it (when and where did it air? Do you know anything about how it was viewed?) and connect it to the readings from class.

AND/OR: If you were part of a group that led discussion this week, you have the option to write a blog entry about the text you worked with. In addition to exploring the reading/film itself, explain why your group chose the questions/passages you did and discuss whether the in-class conversation went the way you expected.


Week 10: Queers in academia

Mon 11/3:
No class: respond to online post based on readings for Wednesday, and work on your LGBTQ movement research.

Wed 11/5:
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, from “Queer and Now” (ELMS)
Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, from “Sex in Public” (ELMS)
Cathy Cohen, from “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens” (ELMS)
E. Patrick Johnson, from “Quare” Studies, or (Almost) Everything I know about Queer Studies I learned from my Grandmother” (ELMS)


Online writing task 9 (complete 4 over the semester, at least 1 per unit)
Due Friday 11/5.
Click here while logged in to write a post.
(I recommend submitting early since your paper is due the same day).
Academic queer theory can be famously difficult to understand, because the writing is dense and full of references (often implicit ones where you have to know about it to get it). Choose one sentence from one of this week’s articles and write about the different things you can understand it to mean, including connections or challenges to other material we have read in the course.


 Formal writing task for unit 2: LGBTQ Movement Research due Friday 11/7

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