WMST302 lecture notes - What is Queer Sept 8\/15 Queer Nation Founded 1990 NYC Splinter group of ACTUP Took tactics from ACTUP and focused on queer

WMST302 lecture notes - What is Queer Sept 8/15 Queer...

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What is Queer? 1. Political Concept 2. Historical Moment 3. Theoretical Approach, developed mostly in universities “Queer theory is a theoretical perspective from which to challenge the normative” (Sullivan, 56). Theory as a tool to take the study of sexuality seriously Relationship between sexuality and gender, sexuality and class, etc. Structure a sense of self, culture that we live in and our social relationships Trying to think of how all these things are constructed (socially) Unpack assumptions we take as inherently true What kinds of social processes do things like heterosexuality and gender go through to seem ‘normal’? Challenging heteronormativity o Upholds capitalism/ nuclear family / sense of production o Defines the ways in which we derive happiness Theory and Activism co-determining each other Not theory for theory’s sake Queer theory is political What is the relationship between on-the-ground politics and intellectual/ theoretical ideas? What is the theory of sexuality or gender that’s being put into practice?
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LGBT Activist Timeline Homophile Movement Mid 40s to late 1960s Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis Goal: Assimilation Politics coming out of WWII o Rise of suburbs o Massive economic changes—transition to a welfare state o Introduction of the birth control pill Folks start to talk about gender and sexuality more publicly Attitudes towards sexuality were changing rapidly in the US Gay Liberation Movement Late 1960s-80s Marked a shift away from assimilation Pride, Identity politics Calls for law reform, rights, policy changes “Coming Out” Queer Activism Begins late 80s, early 90s Radical, anti-capitalist Working to define queer and put the concept in use AIDS crisis, response to trauma and stigma ACT UP, Queer Nation, Fierce Pussy, The Lesbian Avengers, AIDS Action Now Today What does queer mean now? What can it do in the present?
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