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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2007

E 314V • Gay and Lesbian Literature and Culture

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35010 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM

Course Description

This class will provide students with a context for understanding how gay and lesbian literature and culture are shaped by the social, cultural, and political circumstances in which they emerge, but also how they influence or transform these circumstances. To do this, it will explore the intersections of so-called "alternative" and mainstream (literary, cultural, social) values as they are expressed in texts from a variety of genres (prose fiction, poetry, drama, visual art, film, performance, and criticism). Primary and secondary readings will touch upon a wide range of topics, including the history of (homo)sexuality; race, gender, class, ethnicity, religion and sexuality; AIDS narratives; gay and lesbian political rights movements; and the emergence of identity politics and queer consciousness. Students will especially be encouraged to explore the nature of self-representation as it pertains both to the creation of literary texts (and other art forms) as well as the formation of gay and lesbian identities in a social context.

Along the way, students will also be introduced to some of the basic skills of literary and cultural study, including close textual analysis; class discussion; informal writing; researching, writing, and revising formal papers; working in groups on peer review; and preparing class presentations leading to a final paper. Since we will be working in a computer classroom, some familiarity with basic computing is presumed. Students should also be advised that they will be required to attend and write about at least one GLBTQ event outside of class.

Grading Policy

Two 4-6 pp. papers 40%
One Group Project and Presentation 15%
One 6-8 pp. research paper 25%
Weekly web site contributions 10%
Attendance and Participation (incl. peer review sessions) 10%


We will read some (but not all!) of the following texts: Baldwin, Giovanni's Room; Brown, Rubyfruit Jungle; Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray; Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty or The Swimming Pool Library; Winterson, Written On the Body or Oranges are not the Only Fruit; Cunningham, The Hours; Forster, Maurice; Kushner, Angels in America Part I or Millennium Approaches; Allison, Two or Three Things I Know for Sure; Bridgforth, Love Conjure Blues or The Bull-Jean Stories; Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of my Name; Selvadurai, Funny Boy; Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera

Selected poetry, short prose fiction, and secondary readings from The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader and The Columbia Reader on Lesbians and Gay Men in Media, Society, and Politics collected in a course packet.

Selected films, documentaries, and television programs (chosen from among Before/After Stonewall, Tongues Untied, The Celluloid Closet, Brokeback Mountain, Velvet Goldmine, The Hours, Transamerica, Boys Don't Cry, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Queer as Folk, The L Word).


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