Topics in English and American Literature: 30 Years of Queer


Queer theory, once considered an esoteric hobby for the academic elite, is now everywhere in our popular culture. Terms such as "woman," "man," "straight," or "gay" no longer seem to have firm or immediately accessible meanings. From the intensification of trans* activism to the transformation of HIV/AIDS from a terminal to a chronic disease, from debates over marriage equality to criticism of white gay gentrification, our course texts use queer theory as a narrative tool, troubling the opposition between art and activism. Throughout the semester, we will pay close attention to how queer theory's productive destabilization of identity has informed recent American fiction, memoir, and film. As we do so, we will also consider the literariness of texts often designated as "theoretical." Texts likely to be featured include Nelson's "The Argonauts" and Vuong's "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous." Students will have the opportunity to write literary analysis essays, theoretical essays, as well as one experimental essay that, like many of our course texts, combines personal narrative and critical theory. Satisfies the Twentieth Century and later requirement.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; AS WI I; FA HUM; AR HUM; EL TC

Section 01

Topics in English and American Literature: 30 Years of Queer
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