Are you a queer student heading back to school who wants to know about your history and community? Or are you just an ally who wants to be better informed about the issues and struggles LGBTQ+ individuals face? More and more schools and campuses are becoming inclusive and offering LGBTQ+-related courses. Here are just a few interesting courses being offered across the country that we wish we could sit in on.
1. Victorian Sexualities (Syracuse University)
Wait, LGBTQ+ individuals even existed before the 21st century? Contrary to popular belief, being queer or trans* isn’t some sort of phenomenon that occurred right at the beginning of this century. This course teaches students about gender identity and sexuality during the Victorian period, finding many surprising connections between that period and our own. This course also covers a broad range of Victorian literature, so this is the perfect class for those who love history and reading!
2. Are We Still Fabulous? Queer Identity in Contemporary Drama (DePaul University)
We bet you’ve never put any thought into why “fabulous” is a word widely claimed by the gay community. It turns out that the explanation can take up an entire class! Born out of ACT UP and the AIDS militant movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s, “fabulous” became an important term that really referred to queer identities, specifically in plays, dramas and other forms of media where stories about LGBTQ+ lives were told. More recently, dramas have become less about making a political statement and more about one’s identity and love. This course analyzes queer dramas, leaving students to decide what their take on being “fabulous” is and what it means to them.
3. Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Culture (University of Colorado Boulder)
Super into pop culture? This course explores just about every medium of it! From zines to blogs and films to music videos, this course analyzes gender and sexuality as they intersect with class, race, religion, ability and imperialism.
“I really enjoyed this course,” says Christina*, a student at CU-Boulder. “I’ve always liked analyzing many forms of media and how important it is in terms of representation for LGBTQ+ people, so this course was just perfect for me.”
4. Transnational Sexualities (Mills College)
Have you ever been interested in learning more about gender and sexuality outside the Western point of view? This course has it all. It covers topics such as “globalization and sexual cultures, queer diasporas, sex work, sex trafficking, sex tourism, the politics of AIDS, militarism and sexual violence and transnational social movements” so students can get a different outlook on sexuality in the world around them.
5. Gender Performance (Queen’s University)
This course addresses the many meanings of gender performance in our society. A large variety of media, including novels, plays, poems, films, magazines and cartoons, are analyzed. This course mainly focuses on and explores the topics of gender identity, beauty and the body and individuals in the trans* community. If you’re a student interested in queer and feminist theory, this is a course for you!
Stewing in jealousy yet? Fortunately for you, more courses and programs are being added to schools around the country, and nearly every college or university offers courses on queer theory and gender studies. Happy studying!
*Name has been changed.