Graduate Topics in Gender Studies: Queer Color Critique

G701 — Fall 2020

Freda Fair
Lindley Hall
Days and Times
W 9:30AM-12:00PM
Course Description

This course focuses on queer of color contributions to intellectual and social struggles for liberation at the intersection of race, sexuality, class, and gender self-determination. We will examine the emergence of “queer of color” as an identity category and an analytic in the United States from the 1960s to the present with concentrated attention on the 1990s. Guided by gender and sexual nonnormative activist and theoretical interventions that have advanced and deepened how we understand marginality, hierarchy, family, nationality, embodiment and difference we will delineate queer of color as a cultural and a political formation that pressures dominant social power. Queer of color critique will come into focus for us through its many genealogical and social movement touchstones such as women of color feminism, Marxism, socialism, gay liberation as indexed by the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and Stonewall, and black, Latina/o, Native American, and Asian American radicalisms to name a few. While identity has served as a central site through which the experiences of queer people of color have been narrated, we will also examine the theoretical and cultural mobilization of the term in an effort to contextualize queer of color as a category of analysis. Although our primary genealogical thread will trace the emergence of queer of color from the mid-twentieth century to the present, the course materials will invite us to consider the longer histories of racialization and sexual and class norms to which queer of color politics responds. Drawing on activism and scholarship by Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Audre Lorde, José Esteban Muñoz, Roderick Ferguson, Cathy Cohen, Gayatri Gopinath, David Eng, Daniel Heath Justice, Martin Manalansan among others, queer of color will coalesce for us as an analytic that articulates the terms of social exclusion as well as the  ways in which exclusion is resisted. A diverse array of cultural materials will assist us as we trace a theoretical and practice based genealogy of queer of color critique that will include film,  music, performance, stand-up comedy, dance, poetry, social movements, and historical and community archives.

Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

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