Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters

ODU Gay Cultural Studies


Several courses that emphasize LBGT Studies are already being offered:

Foundations of Queer Studies: Sexualities, Identities, and Perspectives (WMST 395), to be taught by Cathleen Rhodes in Fall 2011, this is an interdisciplinary study of LGBTQ experiences.  It introduces students to personal, cultural, and political aspects of queer life while examining social forces such as heteronormativity, the social construction of gender, and homophobia and their impact on queer lives.  Queer Studies focuses on issues of particular importance to LGBTQ people while exploring gender and the social importance it holds in our society.  The course also encourages examination of the multiple ways in which sexuality intersects with gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, and ability.

A History of Queer Bodies (ENGL/FLET/WMST 495/595), also to be taught for the first time in Fall 2011 by Dr. Heidi Schlipphacke, this course focuses on the discursive production of "queer" bodies in modern Western cultures.  This course will analyze categorizations of "queer" and "normal," the conceptions of the body post-Enlightenment, the role modern science plays in the rigid categorization of bodies in terms of gender and sexuality, and the performative, aesthetic, and discursive resistances to restrictive definitions of embodies sexual identities.  Critical theories of Kant, Rousseau, Freud, Butler, and others will be used to analyze sexuality and its social, philosophical, and psychoanalytical implications.

Contested Bodies: An Introduction to Gender Theory (ENG 795/895), taught as a summer course in 2010 by Dr. Dana Heller, this course focuses on theories of "gender" as a critical and cultural construct in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  The course examines the literature that questions whether gender is a result of nature or culture, a dialogue between the two, or whether it has any material existence at all.  Readings include Anne Fausto-Sterling, Kate Bornstein, Judith Butler