When one hears the word “queer,” the most commonly understood meaning involves something negative, a pejorative deviation from the normal. It is also typically used as slang for a white homosexual male. But this class will explore “queer” in its various meanings as a valuable means of questioning what is normal itself. In addition, it will ask not only how queer looks and expresses itself in relation to race, gender, sex and sexuality, but also how it manifests across the many cultures of the Americas.
This course will engage with various forms of queer cultural production (plays, novels, children’s literature, films and slam poetry) from the 20th and 21st centuries across French, English and Spanish linguistic and cultural lines. It will also entertain various feminist, anti-colonial and queer of color theoretical concepts. Students will then develop their analytic skills through writing in various forms (personal journaling, response papers, proposals, short literary analysis and comparative papers).
We will think about, explore not only our own (queer) positions in time and culture, but also of those in the works we read and view. Classes will be a mixture of small-group and class discussions, peer-review workshops and activities from Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed.