Queer studies

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Preface to the Course[edit]

This course page on wikiversity was started as a project of students at UC Davis enrolled in Spring quarter 2007's Queer Studies course (March 28-June 9, 2007). It is our hope that with the work put in by our class and that of others, we can create a very informative page. The page is an alternative to our current course with additions, changes, and current aspects of the course that describe "queer studies" for us as students. Not only is this a course, it is a project. It is our course on queer, constructed how we see it. Please keep in mind as you read our various contributions that this course is an alternative teaching of our current queer studies lecture taught at UC Davis and is not taken verbatim from our real queer studies course.

We have chosen, for this project, to add readings, videos, events, and other media we feel are relevant to the transmission of queer studies. As a disicipline, queer studies is multifaceted and has multiple meanings. Different students have different areas of interest, and materials will come from various places. In a sense, this wiki is not only our current course at UC Davis, but our interpretation of the course, additions, and changes we feel enhance our education as queer scholars.

Please also take note that queer studies attempts to alter systems and change boundaries. This is mentioned specifically because of the format the material for this course is being presented to you in. Wikiversity, while a very interesting and promising project, is also bound by a set of rules and notions do not sit well within queer. Because of this, some of the material we try to transmit through this medium may be distorted or difficult to present. We welcome any additions or changes to this course as an effort to make our queer learning experience as queer as possible.

  • (This course would benefit from a breakdown into subgroups of classes that would elaborate on topics which are speed through during WMS 170. The time that is alloted through our institution does not allow significant space to elaborate on issues. Rather it gives us a short amount of time to read a lot and leave us scrambling to catch up. Specifically there should be a class focused on media where a lot of different viewings of media, mainstream and those which are not mainstream , should be added. These viewings will show the struggle of creating a queer safe community within one which is distant towards 'strange ideas' that question their heteronormative ideals. Our class has far too many topics to cover and would benefit from an addition to another class which goes stays along the same subject matter as our course now. This would be beneficial to creating a space, because it helps identify how “our” class including “our” class’s topics is seen, portrayed and stereotyped outside of the academic world of journals and academia in general.)

Over the years, this course has also been further developed and updated by other dedicated people.

Lecture Topics[edit]

Here we have provided important terms, constructs, discourses, and ideals that can be questioned by queer studies or are essential to the practice of queer.

Progress of LGBT Rights in the 20th Century[edit]

This lecture will include an overview of LGBT rights movements and currents in the 20th century, how they interacted with the broader currents of that period, and how these movements came to shape the culture of queer communities. Readings: A Queer History of the United States; Victory

Marriage Equality[edit]

Topics covered include the history of marriage equality, both in the US and globally. There will also be discussions on queer attitudes to marriage, both for and against, and the impact the marriage equality movement has had on queer communities. Readings: Gay America; Against Equality; 3 Movements, 2 Diaries, 1 Trans Woman's Message

LGBT Rights and Movements Around the World[edit]

While recent decades have seen great advancement in LGBT rights in the Western world, this has generally not yet happened in the rest of the world. Where do the rest of the world currently stand regarding LGBT rights? Do queer people and their allies living in the West have a responsibility do their part to encourage global change, and if so, how can they effectively do this?

Trans Perspectives[edit]

This lecture will focus on the subjective experiences of trans people and trans communities, and their perspective of their place in the wider world. Readings: Rethinking Normal; The Danish Girl; Becoming Nicole; 3 Movements, 2 Diaries, 1 Trans Woman's Message; Redefining Realness

Feminism and Gender Minorities[edit]

To what extent have the feminist movement and the trans rights movement been allies, and to what extent have they not been? There will also be discussion on trans-inclusive vs trans-exclusive feminism. Also, how have trans people been affected by trans-exclusive feminism? Readings: Excluded; 3 Movements, 2 Diaries, 1 Trans Woman's Message

Being Queer and an Ethnic Minority in the US[edit]

Being both LGBT and an ethnic minority means one has two minority identities. How do the two interact? Some ethnic LGBTs feel that they have to choose between predominantly expressing one identity or the other. Why is this the case? How can things change? Readings: Redefining Realness;

Queer Voices in Country USA[edit]

Despite recent advances in queer acceptance across urban America, life for LGBT people is often very different in the heartland. Readings: Brokeback Mountain

Queer Identities Around the World[edit]

Outside of the Western world, queer identities are often defined in ways other than the standard LGBT scheme. Some of these identities, and how they do or do not correspond to typical Western identities, will be explored in this lecture.

Queer of color critique[edit]

Queer and disability[edit]

Heteronormativity and homonormativity[edit]

Power hierarchies[edit]

Readings[edit]

Articles, essays, etc[edit]

Avery, D. (2007). Isn't It Ironic?. HX, (814), 56-57.

This article along with a viewing of Ma Vie en Rose (a show on a non-mainstream outlet) along with one from one of the main network channels (ie Will & Grace) can be shown. The most vital part of information from these two shows is the comparison. Why is it that the article critiquing GLAAD’s decision to not honor the ‘gay networks’is important? Was their decision justified? Why is it that along with birth of cable there are now networks which are subject specific? Mainstream media, although one would like to think it’s extremely liberal and ‘progressive’, is limiting and censors actively issues which are 'difficult' to address within society. For instance, queer issues are going to be oppressed and censored until they are progressive enough to foster a good image, but not enough to stray away viewers(ie Will and Grace a successful lawyer and straight women cause every straight woman who always wants to make him straight?). Specifically, what are these three showing us? Is there a difference between what is accepted and what is not? What doesn’t fit into mainstream media and does not allow itself to be censored into mainstream media must be pushed out into other networks because then the network is not jeopardizing itself financially in order to be ‘progressive’. Is then a network really being ‘progressive’ when there is really nothing there to loose? What problems do here!, LOGO, and Q Television pose in comparison to major networks? The audiences are different and the safe spaces are created in a space that is exclusively for those who are already in acceptance or have knowledge of the space without questioning the norms. So are these networks really teaching us that as long as these norms are not questioned and these spaces lie in a place unnoticed then they are deemed acceptable?

Books[edit]

  • A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski

A detailed history of queer rights movements in the US from ancient times to the beginning of the 21st century.

  • Gay America: The Road to Gay Marriage and LGBT Rights by Associated Press

Published on the eve of nationwide marriage equality, this book reviews just how far queer rights have come.

  • 3 Movements, 2 Diaries, 1 Trans Woman's Message by TaraElla

A fictional biography of a young trans woman living in the early 21st century, based on real life experiences of trans women living in this period. Features some exploration of the mixed feelings many trans women have towards the feminist movement. Also traces the development of the marriage equality movement in the Western world, and explores how queer people trapped in the politics of it all may see it. Students should reflect upon and discuss how trans-exclusionary feminism has impacted the trans community, and the ways a more trans-inclusive feminism may be able to heal those wounds.

  • Against Equality by Ryan Conrad

A collection of essays by radical queers who do not support marriage equality, explaining their positions.

  • Victory by Linda Hirshman

This book also describes the history of LGBT rights movements in the US.

  • Carol by Patricia Highsmith

A 1950s novel about lesbian love, one of the pioneers of this genre. Students should reflect upon and discuss in what ways same gender relationships in the 1950s are similar to same gender relationships nowadays, and in what ways they are different.

  • Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt

A biography of a trans young person living in the early 21st century, also describing the legal battles she and her family went through. Students should reflect upon and discuss how the broader legal and political landscape can affect LGBT lives, and how LGBT voices can help change that landscape.

  • Rethinking Normal by Katie Hill

An autobiography of a young trans person.

  • Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

An autobiography of a young trans person.

  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock

An autobiography of a trans woman of color.

  • Excluded by Julia Serano

There is extensive discussion on how queer and trans women are often excluded from feminist movements, and how such movements can be made more inclusive.

  • Lorde, Audre, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
  • Lorde, Audre, Sister outsider: essays and speeches', Berkely, California, The Crossing Press. (1984)[1]
  • Dellamora, Richard Apocalyptic Overtures: Sexual Politics and the Sense of an Ending (New Brunswick: Rutgers, 1994)

Misc[edit]

Movies and Videos[edit]

  • The Danish Girl (2015)

A movie about the first documented case of sex reassignment, which took place before WWII. It has been noted that Lili's narrative is quite different from the typical narrative of trans people today. How do they differ? And how much of this difference is due to the different social context?

Philadelphia should be an essential part to our curriculum because it shows the first successful attempt in mainstream media to question heteronormative partner norms, as well as combat an issue of addressing HIV as an issue which could potentially affect two same sexed male partners. This movie showed the real issues that came along with having HIV. How did it perpetuate stereotypes by also showing the issues that come along with HIV and same sex relationships? The scene where Tom Hank’s long life partner can not be with him at the hospital while the disease is taking over his body shows how 'family' definitions within society are problematic in same sex partnerships. It addresses the issues of who has the power to oppress people due to their heteronormative ideals of what a relationship should look like. Also, the fact that the two are even shown is crazy in the 90s. For instance, Public Service Announcements from MTV at this time prevention HIV jump around the subject of what causes HIV and rather the PSA shows a condom taking I walk along the wood floor past the cat onto a bed. It does not address the issues of why the condom is preventing HIV or who the audience should be. Now MTV shows real people giving testimonials for HIV and they also show people getting vaccienated however there must be issues at the forefront of these PSA's which are very mainstream oriented which must be addressed. The importance of Philadelphia is that it challenges in a time that the US was afraid of the HIV virus hetoronormative norms of being closed off to those that the issue affects due to the fact that it is invisible in the mainstream world.

MTV Networks Inc. http://www.mtv.com/thinkmtv/sexual_health/wad_2006/. May 13, 2007.

Events[edit]

  • Day of Silence Was held this year on April 18, 2007. An annual event where participants do not speak in honor of the individuals in the LGBTQI community who are not allowed the full privileges of their voice because of their sexuality.

Other Media[edit]

Music[edit]

Queer critiques can be applied to mainstream music in addition to the wealth of "queer friendly" or "queer conscious" music available.

  • Ani DiFranco "In Or Out" (lyrics) This song is about DiFranco's personal experience as a bisexual. I feel material like this is important to queer studies because bisexuals often get lost in the fervor of queer studies and its emphasis on queer texts. This song challenges both heteronormativity and homonormativity in the lines "Guess there's something wrong with me / Guess I don't fit in / No one wants to touch it / No one knows where to begin". By rejecting an either/or division of her sexuality, DiFranco presents herself as something people are not familiar with, something that is, essentially, queer.

Television Shows[edit]

The importance of these three shows relies on the possibilities which an actor has in their role. Ellen Degeneres a public 'out of the closet' lesbian carries by her agency in these shows under her belt. Due to her tremendous following (which brings big money opportunities in advertising for networks) her show comes along with a great deal of power over the networks who might try to censor her otherwise. For instance, as time passes her shows have cut down on the amount of political issues, yet they offer an important insight into the transgression of agency through media. The first one shows how she had the ability to bring up the issue of her being a lesbian while at the same time being an important character in popular media culture.However, after her show got taken off the air she got offered to do another show where she moves into urban space (Times Square Red Times Square Blue would be supplemental read in order to further elaborate on issues of space). She moves back in with her mother in a small town where most of the show revolves around her attempts to get acceptance into their space again. Finally, there is The Ellen Degeneres show which has given her a lot of opportunities to reach out to bigger audiences (ie when she hosted the Grammy's). Focusing on the importance of agency, actor hidden agendas as well as the importance of shows to dominant societal ideals is vital to understanding our space within space in genera.

Art[edit]

Organizations[edit]

References[edit]


See Also[edit]