2012-13 Catalog

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Offering Description

Queer Pleasure and Politics


Spring 2013 quarter

Greg Mullins comparative literature, American studies , Cael Keegan american studies, LGBT/queer studies, popular culture U.S.
Fields of Study
gender and women's studies, history and queer studies
Preparatory for studies or careers in
history, gender and sexuality studies, careers in any field of education, human services, entertainment, etc. in which it would be wise to understand human diversity.

Why is glitter queer? Why is drag glamorous? Why are Broadway musicals gay in both senses of that word? Why, for that matter, did a word that meant bright, showy, cheerful and carefree come to signal homosexuality?

Entertainments, recreation, social gatherings and stage spectacles have a long and deep relationship to sexual and gender identities, communities, and the politics that emerge from them. In this program we will examine the history of queer gender and sexuality in relation to bars, parks, baths, burlesque halls, balls, theaters, musicals, music festivals, softball teams, films and parades. Our approach will be primarily historical, as we consider how modern genders and sexualities are playfully forged via social interaction in places of entertainment. Our focus will be the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Historical texts will be complemented with theoretical readings that explore the relation between pleasure and politics. We will be especially interested in style, costume, humor, bacchanalia, outrageousness, spectacle, camp, play and the carnivalesque.

Students should emerge from the program with a sophisticated understanding not only of sexual and gender identity and community, but also of how sexual and gender politics have been advanced through visibility, spectacle and play.

Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Required Fees
$25 for entrance fees to performances.
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
September 19th, 2012 This program is now upper division (Juniors and Seniors).
April 17th, 2012 This program is now lower-division, offered to freshmen and sophomores.