Course Catalog

01:888:339 Research on Sexualities

This course takes a wide look at approaches and topics in research on sexualities. Covering major areas in sexuality studies, we take a global and interdisciplinary perspective looking at different parts of the world and different ways of doing and writing up sexuality research. Throughout we consider the construction and consequences of sexual normativity -- what is considered normal and what forms of sexuality are excluded or condemned. We will also be asking how erotic subjectivities are formed, reshaped and how sexual cultures change and we will place special emphasis on geopolitics, popular media and race. Readings contrast multiple genres: booklength case studies, theoretical and historical works, empirical researches, personal narratives, literature and criticism, policy and activist writings. For each, we will pay close attention to authors’ methods of research, analysis and/or interpretation. Course readings, films and guest lectures explore the varying relation of sexuality to gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, policy, class and the economy.

Course Objectives:

-       to survey a range of approaches to sexuality research and think about different types of projects

-       to give students knowledge of sexual diversity at US, international and global scales

-       to encourage students to think sexuality, as both practice and representation, as intrinsic to social life

-       to develop critical reading, thinking and speaking on a range of dilemmas posed by the readings and films

-       to cultivate students’ awareness of and skill sets for research design

-       to develop students’ ability to write cogently, imaginatively and/or persuasively  

-       to encourage students to integrate issues of sexuality into their thinking about their future lives and work, including considering many forms of research, action and intervention