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Queer & Trans Erotic Archives

CHUM 361
Spring 2022 not offered
Crosslisting: FGSS 361
Course Cluster and Certificates: Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Certificate, Queer Studies

Is it possible to capture and archive ephemeral, flickering pleasures? This course addresses this question by problematizing the relationship between embodied pleasures and affective memories on the one hand and historical analyses on the other. Based on Derrida's critique of archives' selective preservation mechanisms and reification of normative narratives, queer studies scholars have tried to create their own "counter-archives," often by means of an alternative reading of conventional archives. First, participants will discuss the ethics of reenactments and appropriations of archived desires, analyzing specific case studies that will be an entry point into broader issues related to the scholar's involvement in the voyeurism of the archive. Second, participants will discuss how a focus on queer cultures leads to a rethinking of what constitutes archival material, expanding this definition to include erotica and porn, feelings, ephemera, performances, and mass media. Course readings will also reveal the artificiality of the established boundaries between high and low culture, between authoritative knowledge and experiments with bodily pleasures. The course interrogates pornography's potential as a historical source that reveals non-normative fantasies. Participants will discuss the relationship between sexual fantasy and social reality, between representations of idealized boundless pleasure, and historical contexts of stigmatization, pathologization, and institutional violence. This will lead to debates on archival sexual activism and minoritized bodies in the archive, in order to fully grasp the contraposition between over-determination and queer utopianism.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA CHUM
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode:
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on APR-22-2024
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