Satisfies Humanities General Education Requirement
“Sexuality Studies: Theory, Culture, and Politics.” Debates about the politics of sexuality have been at the forefront of contemporary efforts to rethink concepts of identity, desire, and the body. This course seeks to provide a theoretical and cultural context for such debates by investigating the complex and often contradictory relationship between sexuality and society. After tracing the historical emergence of the modern sexual self, we will survey contemporary theories of sexuality and sexual representations, particularly as they intersect with systems of race, class, and gender. Topics will include sexuality and desire under capitalism; feminist theories of sexuality and the feminist "sex wars;" cultural representations of HIV/AIDS; racialized sexualities; sexual and gender diversity; gender performance; the politics of embodiment. Readings and other course materials range from theoretical and historical essays to literary texts, films, and popular culture.