HIST 234 Queer Histories


Major Requirement: History of the United States

What are “queer histories”? And how does one “queer” history? This course is an introduction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) history and methods. Focusing on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we will examine historical constructions of non-normative genders and sexualities, and the evolution of LGBTQ identities and communities. Looking at history from a “queer” perspective—one in which we question conventionally-held knowledge and categories of identity—will reveal how ideas about gender and sexuality change over time, and how they are linked to issues of race, class, nationality, and citizenship.  Course topics will include the social and scientific construction of sexual orientation and gender identity, the effects of historical events including World War II and the Civil Rights and feminist movements on LGBTQ people, and the evolution of American and global LGBTQ rights movements from the mid-twentieth century to the early twenty-first century.