ENGL359F - Special Topics in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Literatures: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Film and Video

This course is a comparative analysis of forms, themes, and the politics of representation in film by and/or about LGBT people. We will examine diverse cinematic representations, we will read a vast array of theoretical texts, and we will consider the following questions in relation to these diverse cinematic representations. What is the difference between sex, sexuality, and gender? What role does anatomy play (or not play)? What does it mean to be masculine or feminine, or to act manly or womanly? What does it be mean to be transgender, transsexual, or intersex? What does the umbrella term QUEER mean? In other words, what’s the difference between “gay” and “queer”? What role does class and economics play? What about race and ethnicity? What are phenotypic features? Penultimately, what IS homosexuality? And finally, to borrow Leo Bersani’s provocative question, should a homosexual be a good citizen? In sum, how does film help us to approach these thorny questions? But also, how does film hinder, problematize, defamiliarize, or “queer” those things that we take for granted? There are 4 components to this course: the first is a course journal; the second is random, unannounced in-class quizzes; the third is a 6-page paper; the fourth is a final exam.

Also offered as LGBT327.