Community-Engaged Learning: Documenting the Queer Past in St. Louis


What is the relationship between the queer present and the queer past? In 2016, the U.S. National Park Service created its LGBTQ Heritage Initiative, reminding Americans that history can be activism: "for many LGBTQ groups, preserving and interpreting their past has been an important part of building communities and mutual support." Attending to the queer past can also reveal the exclusions and divisions that shaped those communities and that continue to limit them. In this course, we will participate in this national project of history-making by excavating the queer past in the greater St. Louis region. Course texts will focus on the ways that sexual identities and communities in the United States have shifted and coalesced in the twentieth century. In addition, we will learn about the ways that history has been represented and interpreted. The course is centrally concerned with how race, class and gender have structured queer spaces, communities, and history. This is a community engaged learning course, and there is a required community service project for this course. In past semesters students have conducted oral histories or worked with staff at the Missouri History Museum on an upcoming exhibit. The community engaged learning component of the course will require an additional 3-5 hours per week. Prereq: Intro to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or Intro to Queer Studies, or permission of instructor. Waitlists controlled by Department; priority given to WGSS majors.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU BA; AS HUM; AS SD I; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC