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COLLEGE 103: Globally Queer

The progress of LGBTQ+ rights over the last half century has been remarkably swift and absolutely global. Pride parades and marriage rights have become emblems of a global movement that seems to transcend culture. This course asks what has allowed LGBTQ+ issues to become leading indicators of a certain kind of liberalization and modernization. What is the road LGBTQ+ rights took from the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to Pride Parades in Minsk, Kolkata and Nuuk, Greenland by 2015? This course will introduce students to the concepts and issues that have shaped this development. But it will also highlight the concepts by which historians, social scientists and political theorists have interrogated the problematic underbelly of this story of global triumph. What gets left out when we frame the course of LGBTQ+ history as somehow moving from Lower Manhattan to the rest of the world? Many academics studying LGBTQ+ history worry about the eurocentrism inherent in this way of telling the story this wa more »
The progress of LGBTQ+ rights over the last half century has been remarkably swift and absolutely global. Pride parades and marriage rights have become emblems of a global movement that seems to transcend culture. This course asks what has allowed LGBTQ+ issues to become leading indicators of a certain kind of liberalization and modernization. What is the road LGBTQ+ rights took from the Stonewall Inn in 1969 to Pride Parades in Minsk, Kolkata and Nuuk, Greenland by 2015? This course will introduce students to the concepts and issues that have shaped this development. But it will also highlight the concepts by which historians, social scientists and political theorists have interrogated the problematic underbelly of this story of global triumph. What gets left out when we frame the course of LGBTQ+ history as somehow moving from Lower Manhattan to the rest of the world? Many academics studying LGBTQ+ history worry about the eurocentrism inherent in this way of telling the story this way, and about how it truncates our understanding of LGBTQ+ culture. After all, are LGBTQ+ identities and rights one size-fits-all? Do they become a way for Western nations to once again set the standards by which others are judged developmentally deficient? In certain societies reference to a 'traditional' national way of thinking about gender and sexuality is simply a fig leaf for homophobia and transphobia. But in other countries an international vocabulary of LGBTQ+ identity comes face-to-face with longstanding or newly emergent configurations of gender and sexuality that look very different. How do we mediate between those two? At the same time, the way Western societies export their conception of what LGBTQ+ identity is and why and when it matters tells us something about how Western Europe and the United States think about these issues themselves? What kinds of rights do Western nations tend to (or at least claim to) champion? Who gets to have and claim those rights?
Last offered: Spring 2022 | UG Reqs: College, THINK, WAY-A-II, WAY-EDP
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