Queer Theory Ten Years On

Subject 106-436 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2 contact hours/week, 8 additional hours/week. Total of 10 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Usually admission to the postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in English, cultural studies or gender studies.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability

Subject Overview: This subject considers sexuality through a strategic focus on the recent rise and fall of queer theory. Coined as a phrase in the early 1990s and pronounced dead by many scholars barely a decade later, queer theory ­dramatises many of the classificatory, representational and political/ethical problems that structure modern understandings of sexuality more generally. Through the interpretative frame of queer theory, this subject considers the historical development of categories of sexual identity, including heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and post-queer formulations of transgender subjectivities. It enables students to articulate and develop queer perspectives on issues of critical currency, for example, theories of the body, of subject formation, of representation, of political activism. Taking up various anti-homophobic perspectives, the subject moves between such topics as drag queen/drag king subcultures and the discourse of AIDS; re-readings of classic literary and film texts and public sex cultures.
  • be able to provide a detailed account of the historical development of the category 'homosexuality' and, by corollary, the category 'heterosexuality';
  • be able to negotiate the tenuous, but nevertheless persistent, differences between 'lesbian' and 'gay' without essentialising either category;
  • be able to articulate and develop queer perspectives on issues of critical currency; for example, theories of the body, of subject formation, of cinematic representation and spectatorship.
Assessment: One research essay of 5000 words (100%) due at the end of the semester. Students are required to present one 25-minute seminar paper, and attend a minimum of 80% of scheduled seminars (10 out of 12 seminars).
Prescribed Texts: A subject reader will be available.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to communicate effectively in oral and written contexts;
  • demonstrate independent thought and critical argument;
  • manage and organise workloads in relation to a specified time frame.
Notes: Formerly available as 106-087. Students who have completed 106-087 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies

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