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

Jack Halberstam begins In a Queer Time & Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (NYU Press, 2005) with the following claim: “This book makes the perhaps overly ambitious claim that there is such a thing as ‘queer time’ and ‘queer space.’ Queer uses of time and space develop, at least in part, in opposition to the institutions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction. They also develop according to other logics of location, movement, and identification” (1). In this course, we will adopt Halberstam’s “perhaps overly ambitious claim” & apply it to 9 important works of LGBT cinema: Todd Haynes’s Dottie Gets Spanked (1993); Alain Berliner, Ma vie en rose [My Life in Pink] (1997); Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman (1996); Marlon Rigg’s Tongues Untied (1989); Jennie Livingston’s Paris Is Burning (1989); Susan Muska & Gréta Olafsdóttir’s The Brandon Teena Story (1998); Kimberly Pierce’s Boys Don’t Cry (1999); Harry Dodge & Silas Howard’s By Hook or By Crook (2001); & Pedro Almodovar’s La piel que habito [The Skin I Live In] (2011).

Course work will consist of a close reading (1,000 words), a mid-semester comparative analysis (2,000 words), an end-of-the-semester comparative analysis (2,500 words), & ample participation in the course's discussion board.


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.