Week 1


Monday, Sept. 23            Introduction to course and concepts:  What is “queer literature,” “queer film”?  (Questions of reading, writing, viewing; the queer “canon”; queerness in relation to gender/sexuality; central problems of studying queer representations in literature and film, etc.).

Handouts: Michael Field, “A Pen-Drawing of Leda” (1892); Walt Whitman, “When I Heard at the Close of the Day” (1855)

Wednesday, Sept. 25            19th-Century Scientific Theories of Homosexuality, Legal Backgrounds

Sexology/Uranianism/Inversion handout (CW)

Havelock Ellis, excerpt from Studies in the Psychology of Sex (CW)

Edward Carpenter, from Homogenic Love (CW)

Margaret Gibson, “Clitoral Corruption” (CW)

Week 2 

Monday, Sept. 30            Queer Genealogies and Iconography

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest

Wednesday, Oct. 2            

Film: Velvet Goldmine (on reserve at Green Lib. Media desk)

Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality” (CW)

Week 3


Monday, Oct. 7            Lesbian Representations, Then and Now

Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (excerpts, CW)

Handout: The Radclyffe Hall trials (CW)


Wednesday, Oct. 9           

Films: Girls in Uniform, on reserve at Green Lib. Media desk.

Also watch a brief program of Lesbian shorts (check with me for selections and whereabouts/availability of the shorts for viewing).

Week 4 

Monday, Oct. 14           

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home (read whole graphic novel)

 Wednesday, Oct. 16        Queer Family beyond the Nuclear Family   

Film: All About My Mother (on reserve at Green Lib. Media desk)

Also read article about Pedro Almodóvar’s film (on transnationalism in All About My Mother, CW)

Week 5 

Monday, Oct. 21            

Film: Paris Is Burning (documentary, on reserve at Green Lib. Media desk)

Judith Butler, “Imitation and Gender Insubordination” (CW)


Wednesday, Oct. 23              No class—I’ll be away at a conference. Instead of class, there will be a short homework writing assignment (2-3 pp.) for the following famous two short stories about gay male love and homosocial bonding:

Chu T-ien-Wen, “Bodhisattva Incarnate,” short story (CW)

Annie Proulx, “Brokeback Mountain,” short story (CW).

I’ll post reading questions for these stories in advance, and I’d like you to answer one of the reading questions in writing for this assignment.  The homework is due by Saturday night, Oct. 26 (or earlier), via email attachment to me or posted on our class blog.  This homework is mandatory for all but may count as one of your 7 blog posts.

Please start thinking about the group project in earnest this week and solicit other people who might be interested in your topic or range of topics.  Once you’ve organized your group, sign up for office hour with me (as a group).


Week 6 

Monday, Oct. 28              Queerness and Race: Intersections, Conflicts of Identities

James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, Part 1 (pp. 1-71)


Wednesday, Oct. 30           

James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, Part 2 (pp. 75-169)

Graduate students, please also read: Excerpt from Sharon Holland, The Erotic Life of Racism (CW) and Audre Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic” (CW)

Week 7

Monday, Nov. 4           

Films: Looking for Langston; Watermelon Woman (on reserve at Green Lib. Media desk)—please watch both for class today! (Looking for Langston is only 42 min. long.)


Wednesday, Nov. 6            

Cherríe Moraga, “A Xicana Lexicon,” “A XicanaDyke Codex of Changing Consciousness” (CW), and Giving Up the Ghost (play, on CW)

Midterm essay (for those writing it) due by the end of Saturday, Nov. 9—you can also submit it much earlier if you like.  Please send via email attachment to


Week 8

Monday, Nov. 11            Transgender and Transsexual Representation

Rachilde, Monsieur Vénus, Preface and chapters 1-9 (pp. 1-120).  The introduction is highly recommended, too, but not required.


Wednesday, Nov. 13           

Rachilde, Monsieur Vénus, chapters 10-17 (pp. 120-210)

Graduate students, please also read: Marjorie Garber, “Spare Parts” (CW)

Week 9

Monday, Nov. 18           

Film: Ma Vie en Rose (Belgium 1997; dir. Alain Berliner, 89 min.)

Susan Stryker, “My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix” and “Transgender Studies: Queer Theory’s Evil Twin” (both on CW)

Recommended but not required: Stryker, “An Introduction to Transgender Terms and Concepts” from Transgender History (CW)


Wednesday, Nov. 20            

Film: Hedwig and the Angry Inch or Transamerica (on reserve at Green Lib. Media desk) – STUDENT CHOICE

Week 10:                          Week 10 is THANKSGIVING WEEK—NO CLASS


Monday, Dec. 2             

During class time, meet with your project group (in our classroom); also meet with me as a group some other time during the week (make appointment ahead of time for this week).

Wednesday, Dec. 4             

Class workshop: group presentations and feedback; celebration.



 Final projects are due on the blog or by email (send as Word attachment, pdf, or link to WordPress blog page to on Wednesday, Dec. 11, before midnight.





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