Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Interpret gay and lesbian literary works within the structure of relevant racial, ethnic, gender, class, aesthetic, and cultural contexts.
  • Trace the development and emergence of distinct gay/lesbian social and political cultures in the twentieth century.


Literary exploration of genders and sexualities across different historical periods, geopolitical spaces, and cultural practices within the queer literary tradition. Readings and other works reflecting intersectional approaches to sexuality, race, ethnicity, gender, nation, class, ability, and religion. Critical analysis of fiction, poetry, other texts and performance pieces of queer scholars, writers, and artists through socio-historical contexts, as well as queer, postcolonial, gender, and critical race theories, towards an understanding of diverse, lived queer experiences.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Analyze and compare the development of diverse cultural attitudes toward and representations of same-sex relationships and queer identities across a range of histories and cultures.
  2. Identify typical themes, strategies, techniques, and aesthetics employed in representations and constructions of queer sexualities and gender identities.
  3. Trace the development and emergence of distinct queer social and political cultures and movements as contexts for course readings.
  4. Interpret queer literary works and other cultural artifacts within the structure of relevant racial, ethnic, gender, class, and cultural contexts.
  5. Apply basic literary terminologies and relevant critical theories to analysis of texts and other cultural artifacts.

Course Content

Topics can include but are not limited to the following areas of inquiry:

  1. Analysis of queer identity representation, formation, and evolution over time
    1. Global ancient identities and foundations
      1. Native American historical gender nonconformity
      2. Preconquest Latin America, such as Aztec, Mayan, Quechuas, Zapotecs, Tupinambá
      3. Ancient China and the "pleasures of the bitten peach"
      4. Ancient Japanese and shudo
      5. History of Thai Kahtoey "ladyboys"
      6. Greek and Roman cultures, including brief selections from Sappho, Plato, and Ovid
      7. Italian Renaissance same-sex relationships
    2. Historical religious representations of homosexuality
      1. Western medieval and Renaissance Christian religious representations (e.g., St. Augustine, Dante)
      2. Homosexuality in the Hebrew Bible and the Book of Leviticus
      3. The Quran, same-sex relationships, and the "people of Lot"
      4. Ancient Japan, Buddhism, and same-sex relationships
      5. The Laws of Manu and Hindu: the "third sex"
    3. Cisgender heteronormative American cultural attitudes toward queer sexualities and gender identities
    4. Politics of group identification and inclusion
      1. Origins of the term "homosexual" (Germany, 1869, Karl-Marie Kertbeny)
      2. Individual group monikers (e.g., evolution of the terms "homosexual," "homosexualist," "gay")
      3. Movement from "Gay and Lesbian" to LGBTQQIA2S+ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning Intersex Asexual, Two-Spirit)
      4. Development of the term "queer" as an academic framework and social and political pan-identity
      5. Inter- and intra- group conflicts: the politics of inclusion, race and gender relations
      6. "Passing"
      7. The body as "text" and "voice" (alternative expressions of identity: fashion, hair, tattoos, piercings, other body modifications; issues around trans surgery and scarring)
  2. Aesthetics and themes of queer literary and other "texts"
    1. Humor/camp
    2. Intertexuality and confrontation of cisgender heteronormative mainstream narratives
    3. Popular culture
      1. Film: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Tank Girl, Moonlight, Paris is Burning
      2. Music and its icons: Peaches, Cher, Barbra, lesbian punk, musical
    4. Themes
      1. Coming out
      2. "Passing," double consciousness, code switching
      3. Isolation, lack of voice, otherness
      4. Definitions of "family"
      5. Transvestitism and power, the politics of drag
      6. Queerness as danger (including but not limited to the HIV/AIDS epidemic)
      7. Subversion, transgression
      8. Stereotypes and assumptions
  3. Development and emergence of queer social and political cultures and movements
    1. 1950s McCarthy era political oppression and resistance
    2. 1960s Stonewall era resistance
    3. 1970s LGBT liberation movements
    4. 1980s to the 1990s: the HIV/AIDS era
    5. 21st-century trans protections and movements
    6. Language as power: 21st-century movements surrounding pronouns
    7. Same-sex marriage rights
    8. Employment rights
  4. Queer diversities
    1. Multicultural representations of queer literatures
      1. African/American queer identities on text (e.g., Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, James Baldwin)
      2. Asian/American queer identities, including writers of Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi descent, e.g., Pilipinx writers Jessica Hagedorn, Lysley Tenorio, Chia Villanueva; Michelle Tea, Andrew Lam; Sandip Roy
      3. Latinx queer identities (e.g., Cherríe Moraga, Gloria Anzaldúa)
      4. Native American identities, including two-spirit/third gender identities (e.g., Rebecca Nagle, Greg Sarris)
      5. Arab American/Middle Eastern/Muslim identities, such as Abdallah Taia (Morocco), Samar Yazbeck (Syria), Rabih Alameddine (Lebanese American)
      6. Multiracial queer identities
    2. Gender identities
      1. Trans identities
      2. Gender fluidities
      3. Androgyny and nonbinary identities
    3. Issues of socioeconomic class
      1. The socioeconomics of transition and health care issues
      2. Queer homelessness
    4. Ability and queer identities
    5. Contemporary religion and queer identities
      1. Modern queer-affirming religious groups, such as GLIDE Memorial Church in San Francisco
      2. Independent Catholic churches and queer affirmation
  5. Critical theories and literary terminologies
    1. Critical theories
      1. Queer theories
      2. Gender and feminist theories
      3. Postcolonial and critical race theories
    2. Literary terminologies and analysis strategies
      1. Denotative and connotative meaning of words and statements
      2. Structure or development of events, emotions, images, and ideas
      3. Figurative and symbolic language in relation to central theme(s) of the work
      4. Artistic synthesis of literal and figurative details with theme(s)
      5. Historical evolution of genres and styles in appropriate literary, cultural and historical context

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
2. When taught virtually, ongoing access to computer, internet, and email.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Critical papers
Class presentations and reports
Journals and portfolios
Midterm examination
Final examination
Class discussion in large-group and small-group formats
Social justice/service learning project
Production of students' own creative work

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Readings of literary texts and secondary sources from a culturally broad range of queer writers and artists
Writing analytical essays and responses to course materials
Class discussion on relevant topics, including discussion of media in relation to real life examples drawn from students' experiences and observations
Collaborative learning and small group exercises
Viewing/observing/hearing cultural artifacts, including art, performance, film, theater, music
Active engagement in social justice/service learning
Guest speakers
Field observation and field trips

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Queer literary contributions span hundreds if not thousands of years. Essential material in this canon predates the five-year restriction and is necessary to provide students with a full and accurate understanding of the subject.

In selecting appropriate texts, instructors should consult "Course Content" above for detailed suggestions regarding authors, topics, historical periods, geographical/cultural regions, and genres.

Recently-published queer literature anthologies appropriate for this course include:

Angiras, Aditi. The World That Belongs to Us: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from South Asia. 2020.

Bradway, Tyler, ed. After Queer Studies: Literature, Theory and Sexuality in the 21st Century. 2019.

Cabico, Regi, ed. Super Stoked: An Anthology of Queer Poetry from the Capturing Fire Slam and Summit. 2018.

Keeling, Kara. Queer Times, Black Futures (Sexual Cultures). 2019.

Moraga, Cheríe, and Gloria Anzaldúa. This Bridge Called My Back, 4th ed. 2015.

Morales, Miguel, ed. Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. 2021.

Scottee, ed. The Oberson Book of Queer Monologues. 2018.

Sienna, Noam, and Judith Paslow. A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969. 2019.

Soto, Christopher, ed. Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color. 2018.

Instructors may also choose to assign contemporary works by a single author, such as:

Alameddine, Ribah. The Angel of History: A Novel. 2017.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera. 2021.

Moraga, Cherríe. Native Country of the Heart. 2020.

Roy, Sandip. Don’t Let Him Know. 2016.

Sarris, Greg. Watermelon Nights. 2021.

Taia, Abdallah. A Country for Dying. 2020.

Tamaki, Mariko, and Jillian Tamaki. Skim. 2010.

Tenorio, Lysley. The Son of Good Fortune. 2020.

Vuong, Ocean. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. 2019.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading from representative literary texts as assigned by instructor
  2. Quizzes on reading comprehension of assigned literary texts
  3. Individual and small group presentations on the literature and its historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts
  4. Analytical and reader response journal assignments on readings
  5. At least one formal literary analysis writing project demonstrating comprehension and critical thinking
  6. Social justice/service learning project (e.g., Foothill Research and Service Learning Symposium)
  7. Production of students' own creative work