“Queer is the deferal of meaning, the resistance to ascription and to fixation of identity.” —Kathryn Bond Stockton
In this seminar, we will develop Queer Theory as a lens to explore a variety of British fictional media. We will mostly look at contemporary media but we will consider them with an eye to the historical specificity of public discourses on (sexual) deviance and normality in Britain since (at least) the Victorian nineteenth century.
The seminar has three parts:
- In a first step, we will look at various theorizations of queerness: Beginning with poststructuralist critical theory that focuses on non-normative sexual identity (LGBTQIA+ – look it up!), we will broaden that outlook to theorizations of non-normativity in other areas of social life, and discuss them with regard to issues of fictional representation.
- In the second part of the seminar, we will discuss a small selection of must-know queer literature (I will make the reading list available during the term break) to apply and test our theoretical toolbox.
- Finally, participating students will have time to pursue their own research interests (which can focus on queer representation in film, TV, music, performance art, video games, or any other fictional media) to present and discuss their findings in a colloquium style class setting.
I will assume that participants have basic knowledge of critical cultural theory, especially feminist theory and gender theory, but I will not expect previous knowledge of queer theory. Interested BA students who don’t shy away from the high workload of this MA class are very welcome to attend (they cannot earn credit points, though)!