Queer Theor(ies)

Dr. Ryan Calabretta-Sajder

What To Expect

General Information Relating to Class and Office Hours.

Contact Information

Email: calabret@uark.edu

Phone: (847) 217-1630



Class Information

The class meets from 9am-12:45pm.

August Intersession 2020: Remote Delivery 

All readings will be posted online.

Office Hours

Remote Delivery

Mon-Fri: 12:45 – 1:30

Appointment Link: http://calendly.com/calabretta/15min

Course Description

In this interdisciplinary course, students will be introduced to key themes and critical frameworks in the overlapping fields of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Studies, Queer Studies, and Queer Theory within a transnational context. Once a foundation has been established, students will examine the relationships – and arguments – between queer theories and other social and cultural theories aimed at critiquing power, privilege, and ‘normativity’.

Rather than accepting queer theory as a singular, defined school of thought, the course will problematize queer studies as a field and a mode of analysis, considering the following questions: What kinds of bodies or desires does queer describe? What are the politics of queer? What are the promises of queer theory, and what are its perils? What are the key sites for queer activism today? What is the future of queer?

Topics within the course include the following: early and contemporary histories of sexuality; politics of sexuality and sexual identities; forms of oppression including heterosexism, homophobia, and transphobia; violence against LGBTQ individuals and communities; queer activism; diverse experiences of sexuality; and representations in literature, art, and popular media. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which sexual identities intersect with and shape other categories of identity, including gender, race, ethnicity, class, culture and nation.

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes

As a result of having taken this course, students will be able to:


  • identify and critically analyze key concepts and themes in the interdisciplinary field of LGBTQ and/or queer studies.
  • describe how sexuality—including sexual identity, orientation, and desire—is socially constructed.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the consequences of the ways perceived differences in sexual identity and/or orientation, or gender identity, combined with institutional power and privilege, result in discrimination.
  • analyze the intersections of sexuality with gender, race, class, culture, and nation.
  • analyze power, particularly in terms of structural and institutionalized forms of oppression.
  • synthesize course materials to demonstrate a new understanding of their own experience in society with regard to issues of difference, power, and discrimination.

In addition, graduate students should be able to:

  • design a research project in the area of LGBTQ studies, involving synthesis of the readings and theoretical frameworks of this course
  • critique popular media and/or cultural representations of sexuality, particularly for their content (or lack thereof) regarding LGBTQ individuals and communities.

"The only queer people are those who don't love anybody."

– Rita Mae Brown

See The Course Schedule