Queer and Transgender Studies Immersion

Overview for Queer and Transgender Studies Immersion

The queer and transgender studies immersion is an interdisciplinary set of courses whose primary concern is the critical study of cultures, creative expressions, histories, economic structures, and socio-political and legal institutions as they impact the formation of queer and transgender identities and the lives and experiences of people in the LGBTQ+ community.

The immersion is comprised of courses that feature LGBTQ+ content either as the sole focus or as prominent topics within a wider context. Through these courses, the queer and transgender studies immersion offers vibrant resources for critically investigating matters of embodiment, practices and ideologies of identity formation, the complexities of sexual and gender diversities, dynamics of power relations, and specific aspects of queer and transgender politics, histories, and cultures. Courses also offer powerful conceptual tools for crafting inclusive forms of subjectivities, social relations, and communities.

This provides a valuable complement to many programs in the humanities, media and communication studies, the visual and performing arts, the social sciences, and the health-related fields.

The plan code for Queer and Transgender Studies Immersion is QTST-IM.

Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Queer and Transgender Studies Immersion

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Course
Required
WGST-210
Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies
This introductory course examines a broad range of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer issues within the historical, psychological, racial, theological, cultural, and legal contexts in which we live. Students will learn the historical and theoretical foundations of LGBTQ+ studies as well as the contemporary implications for family, work, religion, and law for LGBTQ+ people and the mainstream society. Students will have the opportunity to compare the regulation of sexual orientation across different gender, racial, and socioeconomic communities. Lecture 3 (Fall).
Electives
Choose two of the following:*
   WGST-206
  Queer Looks
In this course we examine representations of queer sexuality in art, film and popular culture beginning in the repressive 1950s, followed by the Stonewall Riots of 1969. We situate the birth of gay liberation in the U.S. in the context of the civil rights struggles, feminism and the anti-war movement. We turn to the work of Andy Warhol that looms over the post-war period, challenged subsequently by the onset of AIDS and the work of General Idea and Act-Up, on the one hand, and the more graphically provocative work of Robert Mapplethorpe, on the other. We examine the diversification of the queer community as transgendered identity asserts itself and the opening of popular culture to issues of diverse sexual identities. We explore expressions of queer sensibility outside of North America and Europe. We turn finally to the issue of gay marriage, both in the U.S. and abroad. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   WGST-220
 Gender-Based Violence: Awareness, Prevention, Response
Does gender-based violence consist only of forcible acts punishable by law or does it also include episodes of gender constraint that may not involve physical assault yet have serious effects on bodies and lives? Is gender-based violence an ethical issue and a form of human rights violation? What are the value systems that enable the occurrence of gendered violence? This course focuses on sex- and gender-based violence understood as a continuum of social and interpersonal violent behaviors that not only shade into one another but also inform and reinforce one another. By examining a variety of case studies drawn from national, transnational, and global contexts, the course examines experiences of sexed and gendered violence such as verbal violence, harassment, domestic and intimate-partner violence, and sexual attack. The course investigates social, economic, and cultural contributing factors that surround sex- and gender-based violence as well as some historical responses, prevalence of the phenomena, and tools and resources to resist such forms of violence. The course aims to raise awareness about the topic of sex- and gender-based violence, educate on strategies and techniques to disrupt such forms of violent social behaviors, promote positive actions of intervention at the local and global level, and generate interest in humanitarian and professional opportunities in the field such as activism, advocacy, education, health, policy, and the law. The course also highlights the ethical challenges (such as privacy and confidentiality, respect for individuals, vulnerability and safety, protection and disclosure of data) related to dealing with cases of gender-based violence. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   WGST-221
 Sex for Sale: Prostitution, Sex Work, and Sex Trade
Why does sex for sale raise some of the most controversial and often taboo questions of our time? Is sex for sale a form of exploitation and violence against individuals (whether women, men, queer or other non-binary individuals)? Or does sex for sale offer emancipatory possibilities and therefore ought to be understood as part of an ethics of sexual liberation, personal affirmation, and individual agency? What are the moral values, ethical standards, and economic and legal systems surrounding sex for sale? The course explores some of the myriad varieties of global sex for sale such as pornography, prostitution, erotic dance, escorting, street work, camming, peep shows, and sex tourism. The course considers various feminist and queer theories’ perspectives on the sex trade, critically analyzing theoretical and empirical studies and assessing various legal approaches to regulating this multi-faceted industry. The course tackles the sex industry transnationally exploring the connections between sex, gender, sexuality, and other social markers such as race/ethnicity, class, disability, age, and nationality; it investigates how these markers play out in the purchase and sale of sexual services; and it challenges commonly held ethical standards surrounding sex for sale. By the end of the course, students will understand how they as individuals could contribute to solutions, activism, and social change for increased respect toward the fundamental humanity of sex workers and for enhanced life and work conditions of those who work in the sex industry. Lecture 3 (Fall).
   WGST-225
 Nature, Sex, and Gender
In this course, students will explore ways in which scientific knowledge about nonhumans and the natural world has been shaped by human ideas about sex, gender, and heteronormativity. They will learn about the changing perspectives on sex and gender in the natural sciences through readings and multimedia and investigate how gender and sexuality have been studied in biological and natural sciences past and present. Additionally, readings and media will explore the intersection of sex and gender in the environment with related social issues, such as racism, ableism, and colonialism. The course will also examine how scientific, science studies, and gender studies scholars are developing and using new approaches, such as queer ecologies and feminist biology, to critique and change how science is practiced with respect to assumptions and inferences about sex and gender. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   WGST-240
 Human Sexuality
This course provides an overview of human sexuality through the lenses of biology and psychology. What causes sexual behavior and why do some individuals display different sexual behaviors than others? Human sexual physiology, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are highly diverse. Coursework will examine the ways in which human sexuality varies among individuals, across groups, and throughout the lifespan. Multiple explanations for sexual behavior will be considered, drawing from evolutionary psychology, learning theory, social psychology, and biology. Atypical and harmful sexual behaviors will be addressed as well. Throughout the course, students will learn how social science research techniques have been used to expand the field of human sexuality and how empirical inquiry can differentiate myths from facts. (Prerequisites: PSYC-101 or PSYC-101H or completion of one (1) 200 level PSYC course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   WGST-318
 Philosophies of Love, Sex, and Gender
Love is indeed one of the most central concerns in everyone’s life; yet, we spend very little time thinking conceptually about love in its various forms, aspects, implications, nuances, benefits, detriments, and harms. In this course, we will examine views from classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary thinkers on various kinds of love, including some controversial versions of it; we will consider the relation of love in its various forms to desire, emotions, physical intimacy, seduction, sex, sexuality, sexual orientation, and the construction of personal identity; and we will analyze how the various forms of love affect and are affected by gender norms, roles, and images. Lecture 3 .
   WGST-330
 Performing Identity in Popular Media
This class is a critical, theoretical, and practical examination of the constitution and performance of personal identity within popular media as it relates to identity politics in everyday life. Through lectures, readings, film, and critical writing, students will examine elements of personal identity and diversity in popular media in order to foster a deeper understanding of how identity is constructed and performed in society. Lecture 3 (Fall).
   WGST-351
 Gender and Sexuality in Hispanic Studies
This course introduces students to the study of gender and sexuality in cultural production from the Hispanic world. Students will read, view, and discuss diverse works from a variety of historical periods and geographical regions that deal with gender identity, sexuality, and interrelated social movements. This course refines students' skills through discussions, presentations, and writing exercises on readings, lectures, and film screenings. Students will also develop research skills as they complete a project on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. The critical approach that will inform this course is feminist thought. Lecture 3 (Fall).
   WGST-361
 Queering Gender
This course begins with the concept that sexuality, gender and gender identity is neither fixed nor innate. Many people who adopt a definition or expression of gender different from society often identify themselves as queer. The study of this movement is referred to as queer theory. This course examines the concepts of sex, gender, and gender expression of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes within the context of the larger society in which we live. Students will explore the unique political, legal, and interpersonal challenges faced by those embracing queer identity as well as the diversity of gender identities and expressions. Lecture 3 (Spring).
   WGST-392
 Queer & Transgender Creative Writing Workshop
This course is for students who want to practice and explore the vast and varied history, craft, and techniques of queer and transgender creative writing. Through reading and discussion, students will contextualize their own writing in a vital lineage and in the contemporary moment. We will read, analyze, reflect, generate, write, edit, and revise throughout the semester. We will create a polished body of creative works by honing those stylistic and craft techniques general to the field and specific to queer and transgender writers. Peer editors and group critiques will provide regular feedback, which will aid in the refinement of each writer’s own work and improve their capacity for supporting a creative work from germinating idea to final draft. Each class will rely extensively on the creative writing workshop model, and will survey the rich variety of genres, styles, forms, and philosophical approaches that QT literature takes. (Prerequisite: ENGL-150 or ENGL-211 or ENGL-212 or WGST-200 or WGST-205 or WGST-210 or equivalent course.) Seminar 3 (Biannual).
   WGST-399
 Collaborative Learning Seminar in WGSS�
This small-group, discussion-oriented, intensive-writing seminar examines some area of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus). The seminar is based on collaborative learning, discussions, and various forms of formal and informal writing understood as an integral part of the critical exploration of WGSS-related topics. (Prerequisites: Must have completed at least 2 WGST courses (core or co-listed) or equivalent courses.) Seminar 3 (Spring).
   WGST-459
 Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies
This variable topic course examines one or more themes, figures, movements, critical questions or issues in the areas of LGBTQ+ studies. The topic for the course is chosen by the instructor, announced in the course subtitle, and developed in the syllabus. Topics in LGBTQ+ Studies can be taken multiple times provided the topic being studied has changed. Lecture 3 (Spring).

* At least one of the elective courses must be at the 300 level or higher.

† This course may be used when relevant to queer and transgender studies.