Course Description: What are ” queer ” and ” trans*, ” how do we make sense of them, and what are the theoretical potentials for them as practices of freedom? We will delve into the variety of theories developed by queer and transgender thinkers, activists, and cultural workers to theorize non-and anti-normative modes of discourse, sociality, sexuality, gender, politics, space, time, and aesthetics. Rather than presenting a survey, the course offers a thematically clustered archive of major conversation points in queer and trans* theory. It attempts to capture the gestural and genealogical methodologies of queer/trans* theoretical argumentation, which resist linear and logical structures. Through the intensive reading and focused class discussion, you will improve your ability to read, write, and ask questions about the theoretical and political potentials of ” queer ” and ” trans* ” as both concepts and lived realities. Recognizing the fundamental relationship that queer theory shares with the practice of textual analysis, we will examine a wide range of cultural objects/practices to help us learn to apply theory. We will also study a range of films that have important relationships with queer/trans* theories, politics, and histories to help us understand the course’s main concepts. Then, we will use the theories we have mastered to identify problems in our current reality and design utopian activist or research projects in response.
By Cael M. Keegan, 2017