ENGLISH 314 - Gender and Sexuality Studies in Literature
Section: 001 Bad Homosexuals
Term: FA 2019
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The lesbians and gay men who currently populate the mainstream media, from Hollywood movies to cable television and glossy magazines, are often exemplars of virtue. Lesbian and gay male representations feature heroic and patriotic soldiers; loving, monogamous couples; caring, devoted parents; devout ministers and priests; selfless humanitarians; sports stars; political leaders; experts and teachers; and lots of decent, ordinary, responsible, loyal neighbors. This fashion for idealized representations of lesbians and gay men is obviously an improvement on the earlier tendency to portray queers as criminals, psychopaths, predators, perverts, freaks, monsters, and corrupters of civilization. At the same time, the new image of gay people as insufferable goody-goodies produces its own kind of discontents. Are we really better off living in a world in which homosexuals are disgusting not because of how horrible they are but because of how impossibly perfect they are? More to the point, where do these idealized representations leave lesbians and gay men who deviate from conservative values? What about queers who are disloyal to church and state, who question the superiority of the family, who don’t want to be or to look straight, who are unwilling to sacrifice sex to love, or who refuse to purchase respectability at the cost of stigmatizing others? This class will examine homosexuals who do not fit the prototype of the model citizen. We will study some classic as well as some recent works of literature and film by lesbians and gay men that depict homosexuals who are an embarrassment to contemporary definitions of gay pride, whether because they have the wrong bodies, the wrong politics, the wrong ethnicity or class, the wrong gender style, or the wrong kind of sex.

Course Requirements:

Course requirements include attendance, class participation, and five pieces of writing: namely—one written response, one scheduled in-class quiz, and three essays, of different lengths.

ENGLISH 314 - Gender and Sexuality Studies in Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (LAB)
Tu 6:00PM - 9:00PM
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