Thursday, 13 January 2011

University of Malta: Introduction to Queer Studies

The Sociology Department at the University will be launching its first course 'Introduction to Queer Studies' starting in February 2011. The course is free and is open to the general public. It will be taking place on Tuesdays between 5pm-7pm. If you would like to attend, you can register here. For more details you can contact the Office of the Registrar (Tel: 2340 2385) for further information. More information on this module can be found below:

This study-unit will introduce students to the field of queer studies through an examination of key theoretical texts and exemplary practices. We will be exploring a diverse set of attempts to upset, oppose, or subvert ideas and practices of normality and displace the opposition between "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" as the main axis on which human sexuality is mapped.

This study-unit will give students an introduction to Queer Studies as a mode of theory and a cultural practice. “Queer” describes sexualities, genders and other social positionalities that fall outside normative identities.

Study-unit Aims

- To provide a critical overview of the work around queer studies and to generate awareness of the research that has been conducted into selected areas within the fields of sexuality, gender and queer studies.

- To gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) culture, theory and communities as it relates to society as a whole and be able to articulate their understanding in critical discourse.

- To address relationships between queer studies and other modes of theory designed to illuminate and critique various forms of power, marginality, privilege, and normativity.

- To define major theoretical explanations of sexuality, such as critical race theory, transgender studies, feminist theory, Marxism and disability studies perspectives on “queer” experiences, bodies, performance and desires while analysing the links between the individual experience and the larger social context.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- explain the meaning of concepts used in sexuality, gender and queer studies.
- identify and distinguish theories and perspectives informing queer studies (mainly, feminist theory, poststructuralist, critical race theory, disability studies, gender theory).
- discuss the intersection of issues / discussions in queer studies with major areas in the social sciences.
- think imaginatively and creatively to deconstruct and/or propose ideas around sexuality and gender.

2. Skills: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- integrate readings and films with own ideas, reflections, arguments, critiques and/or commentary.
- demonstrate critical self-reflection on material and discussions presented during the study-unit.
- express themselves in writing with a coherent structure and presentation of arguments.
- reflectively evaluate their own learning and personal planning processes.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

[None available at the Library. Own copy of publications].

- Eng, David, Judith Halberstam and José Esteban Muňoz (2005) “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Social Text 84-85, 23(3-4), Fall-Winter, pp. 1-18. Duke University Press.
- Nestle, Joan, Clare Howell & Riki Wilchins (Eds.) (2002). GenderQueer: Voices from beyond the sexual binary. Los Angeles and New York: Alyson Books.
- Seidman, Steven (Ed.) (1996). Queer Theory / Sociology. Oxford & Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers. [Selected Readings]
- Stryker, Susan and Stephen Whittle (Eds.) (2006). The Transgender Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge. [Selected Readings]
- Sullivan, Nikki (2003). A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory. New York: New York University Press.


- Bell, David and Jon Binnie (2000) “Introduction.” In The Sexual Citizen. Cambridge and Oxford: Polity Press.
- Butler, Judith (1993) “Critically Queer.” In Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex. New York: Routledge, pp.223-42.
- Foucault, Michel (1990) “We ‘other Victorians’” & “Scientia Sexualis” History of Sexuality, Volume 1. New York: Vintage Books, pp. 1-13, 51-73.
- Jagose, Annamarie (1997) "Introduction" and “Contestations of Queer” in Queer Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press.
- Halberstam, Judith (1998) Female Masculinity. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
- Kosofsky Sedgwick, Eve (1990) “Introduction: Axiomatic” from Epistemology of the Closet (1-22 read closely, skim 22-63); Excerpts from “Epistemology of the Closet” in Epistemology of the Closet. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Warner, Michael (1991) “Introduction.” In Michael Warner (Ed.) Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory, Social Text. 29, pp. 3-17.

1 comment:

  1. Well done on the introduction of this course. It is a step in the right direction in that it helps raise the profile of (sexual, gender) identities. Good on you Ruth.