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Social Norms / Social Power: Queer Readings of "Difference" in America (FYS)

Fall 2021
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: FGSS 117F
Course Cluster and Certificates: Disability Studies, Queer Studies

This American Studies FYS is an interdisciplinary exploration of the privileges and penalties associated with "the normal" in the United States. We'll be centrally concerned with the ways bodily difference and social identity interarticulate with "normalness," locating individuals within hierarchical power structures. What is "normativity," if not a statistical norm? How are regimes of normativity produced, reproduced, and challenged?

Our focus is on queer studies, which we will approach through an intersectional lens, paying careful attention to the ways race, ethnicity, indigeneity, class, disability, gender, and sexuality intersect in social terrains of power. We will unpack and explore key concepts in American studies, including settler colonialism, compulsory ablebodiness, heteronormativity, biopolitics, neoliberalism, and ideology, drawing on a range of genres and disciplines, including memoir, ethnography, film, and theory in disability studies, queer theory, critical race studies, Marxist feminism, Native American studies, and trans studies. Along the way, we will encounter problematics ranging from disability and the "normal" to the American Dream, the "wedding-industrial complex," sexual "deviance" and desire, racialized state violence, the privatization of the public space, and the politics of queer/LGBT activism.

As a First Year Seminar, this course is writing-intensive and is structured to give you ample practice in core writing, reading, and presentation skills needed at Wesleyan. This course is part of the Queer Studies and the Disability Studies Course Cluster, and it is cross-listed in FGSS.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-21-2024
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