The term “queer,” as used in queer theory, activism, and communities, is the subversive appropriation of a label once used to denigrate people considered abnormal, strange, or eccentric in their sexual practices or gender expression. Against the assumption that to be deemed abnormal—or queer—is an insult, self-described queers have taken up the term with pride, thus undermining the normalizing assumption tacit in its original usage. As queer theorist Tamsin Spargo writes, within queer theory, “Queer can function as a noun, an adjective, or a verb, but in each case is defined against the ‘normal’ or ‘normalising.’” In refusing to become well-adjusted to the norms of a homophobic, gender-oppressive, racist, ableist, neo-liberal, capitalist, militaristic and carceral society, queer theorists distinguish their politics from what Lisa Duggan has described as the “homonormativity” of gay and lesbian politics.
In this course we will first consider the ways that queer theory has emerged from and diverged from feminist theory, including lesbian feminist theory, or how queer theorists have challenged feminist theory and developed uniquely queer feminisms. In the middle part of the semester we will study queer feminist explorations of intersex and transgender, the project of queering spaces, queer female masculinities and femininities, crip queer feminisms (or the intersection of disability with sexuality and gender), and queer affect theory. In the last weeks of the semester students will be introduced to the concepts of homonormativity and homonationalism.
Instructor: TAYLOR, Chloë
Day & Time: W, 13:00 - 16:00
Note: Not open to students with credit in WGS 470; taught in conjunction with WGS 470