WOMENSTD 431 - Advanced Topics in LGBTQ Studies
Section: 002 Dancing Women/Dancing Queer
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Women's Studies (WOMENSTD)
Department: LSA Women's Studies
Advisory Prerequisites:
WOMENSTD 245 or 295.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

Every time Beyonce struts across the stage, punctuating her steps with swings of her hips, she uses her body to make a statement gender and sexuality, potentially reshaping expectations about how a black, female, American body should and can move. Studying gender and sexuality through dance and performance foregrounds questions about embodiment that run across feminist and queer theory, as well as dance and performance studies.

This graduate and upper-level undergraduate seminar, which is situated in dance and performance studies, will look at a representations of gender and sexuality across a variety of sites from ballet to modern dance, the concert stage to the music video, and Broadway to avant garde solo performance. Although our primary frames of analysis will be gender and sexuality, we will work from the premise that these questions can never be considered separately from questions about race, class, and nationality, among other possible vectors of identity.

The course will include a survey of relevant historical and contemporary literature at the intersection of dance, performance, queer and feminist theory, as well as in-depth analysis of live and archival performances.

Class discussions will invite the following questions (among others):

  • What role have women and queer-identified people played in dance and performance?
  • How are women and queers represented onstage and to what ends? What role do artists' intentions and processes play in crafting or intervening in these systems of representation?
  • What might constitute a feminist or queer spectatorship in dance and performance?
  • How have women and queer people's desires and/or pleasures been represented in physical performance?

Course Requirements:

Students will be evaluated on their participation in discussion and written work, and there will be an option to create a final performance with a brief process paper, in lieu of writing a longer final paper.

Intended Audience:

Prior experience with dance and performance is not required, since a central goal of the course is to develop vocabulary and strategies for discussing the relationship between gender and sexuality and physical performance.

Class Format:


WOMENSTD 431 - Advanced Topics in LGBTQ Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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