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Critically Queer


Module description

The aim of this module is to familiarise you with key debates in LGBTQ+ literature, history and criticism from the Middle Ages through to the contemporary period, and in different cultural locations. By the end of the module, you will be able to work with a range of critical tools associated with queer critical practice.

You will become familiar with issues of queer and trans history and historiography and texts of sexual and gender dissidence. The module combines engagement with theoretical perspectives and critical concepts with literary-critical tools such as close reading, interpretation and context-based inquiry. The emphasis is on critical practice (i.e. ‘queer’ reading and ‘queer’ writing).

The module will feature a wide range of literary and non-literary texts such as fiction, drama, (graphic) memoir, legal and medical documents and visual sources. Texts and films studied will range from the Middle Ages to the present day, and include less well-known voices such as Richard Bruce Nugent, Nella Larsen and Sarah Waters alongside canonical writers like William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe and Virginia Woolf.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be familiar with queer practices of reading and writing in a range of contexts from the Middle Ages to the present day
  • understand, and be able to compare and contrast, pre-modern, modern and contemporary queer texts and contexts
  • be familiar with queer theory and related debates about gender and sexuality.