The purpose of these readings is to give you an understanding of what Gender and Queer Theories (GQT) are and how they can be used as lenses for viewing literature in new ways. You will apply your knowledge of these theories to assignments later in the unit.
- Read the following two overviews on Gender and Queer theory:
- “Gender Studies and Queer Theory (1970s-present)” and
- Allen, Emily and Dino Felluga. “General Introduction to Theories of Gender & Sex.” Introductory Guide to Critical Theory, Critical Theory Today p.103-111.
- As you read:
- Consider the place in our society for women and those in the LGBT community. Do so especially in relation to notions of status and value, ideas about who has the most power and freedom of choice, and stereotypes we have about how different genders and individuals of varying sexual/gender orientation behave and see their position in the world.
- Ask yourself whether the power structures created by the distinctions we make of gender and sexuality can be challenged. Look closely, for example, at the discussion about notions of “male” and “female” being in flux in the Purdue OWL article above. And in Allen and Felluga’s article, take particular note of the changed ideas about gender roles throughout time, as well as notions of gender and sexuality that don’t seem to have seen much – if any – change.
- Brainstorm about your thoughts on each of the two articles for five minutes each, using the above points as a guide while you read.
- Note that you will not be graded on the correctness of grammar, spelling, or mechanics. As a brainstorm, this is to be entirely free-form so that you can focus on exploring your thoughts and not be limited by a need to transcribe them into formal writing.
- Post your brainstorm