ENGL668A - Readings In Modern Literary Theory: Queer Theory

This course in queer theory and queer critical/cultural studies will be framed by two major questions: Where did queer theory come from, and what is it doing these days?

We will focus first on the foundations of the field in works by Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Gayle Rubin, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and others. Then we will turn to more recent trends and developments, including disability studies, queer of color critique, trans studies, and the public feelings work of Lauren Berlant and Ann Cvetkovich. Depending on the interests of the group, we might also look at queer legal studies, transnational queer studies, queer film/media studies, and perhaps even a literary text or two that might be seen as a mode of queer theory or critique. Consider, for example, the possibility of Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama.

Students will be encouraged to attend events in the LGBT Studies spring lecture series, “Debilitating Queerness,” and to consider submitting a proposal for presentation at the sixth annual DC Queer Studies Symposium, which will be held April 5, 2013 in College Park. Jasbir Puar, author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, will keynote the symposium.

Work will include an oral presentation, response papers, and a 15-page essay.

I would love to hear from people who plan to take the class about your goals, interests, and desires for it. Contact me at mlindema@umd.edu if you have thoughts or suggestions for readings, topics, or questions we might pursue.