Welcome to the Fall 2011 course blog for Queer Theory–an undergraduate course in the Women’s Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh!

This blog is the main course management system for the class, and contains all assignments, readings, policies, handouts, projects, and a blog that students post to on a weekly basis. Check out the tabs at the top of this page for these materials.

For more information or questions, email Dr. Cathy Hannabach at channabach [at] gmail.com.

Course Logistics:


W 10 am-12:25 pm, 2201 WWPH

Instructor: Dr. Cathy Hannabach, channabach [at] gmail.com

My Office: 2402 WWPH

My Mailbox: 2208 WWPH

My Office Hours: Tu 3:30 – 5:30 pm & by appointment

Course Description:

“‘queer’ designates not just a libidinal inclination, not just an erotic life, though it is thankfully that…queerness is a methodology, one that gives us a way to articulate a queer ethics and a queer politics, where each of these insists on the generative capacities of claiming desire, and a fundamental openness to difference, located in the world and also in ourselves” —Gayle Salamon, “Justification & Queer Method

“archives are made up of paper and other things that  “archives are made up of paper and other things that matter…archives are ‘homes,’ ways of gathering material, around which worlds gather…they, too, are orientation devices, which in gathering things around are not neutral but directive” —Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology

What might it mean to theorize and archive queerness? How has recent work in queer and transgender studies expanded classic theories of sexuality, pleasure, desire, and politics, and how might we put these interventions to work? This course offers a sustained interrogation of some of the paradigms, concepts, and methodologies that queer and transgender studies have taken up in the last several years. We will begin by examining the invention of sexuality as a category of identification and analysis in the context of western modernity, and move through the ways that various disciplines and interdisciplinary fields have theorized and produced sexuality through discourses of race, gender, dis/ability, and class. The course will interrogate constructions of sexuality in specific historical and cultural contexts and from a variety of disciplinary locations. The course foregrounds a transnational queer of color approach to queer studies, insisting that sex and sexuality cannot be understood alone but rather are lived and therefore must be analyzed as part of a larger constellation that includes histories of colonialism, contemporary globalization, transnational mobilities, and capitalist production and consumption. Course topics will include genealogies of sexuality and sexual identity, sexual citizenship and mobility, nationalism and empire, diasporic formations and transnational migration, archival practices and affect, and sexual citizenship in the context of war.

Photo credits:

  1. Video still from escrito by Mónica Enríquez-Enríquez. Permission granted by artist.
  2. Photo from educational justice rally and march at the University of California-Davis, March 4, 2010. Photo by Cathy Hannabach.
  3. Book cover for Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality by Gayle Salamon.
  4. Photo from Fossils: Evidence of Queer Life in Pittsburgh exhibit at Future Tenant gallery, April 1-6, 2011.
  5. Photo of arm band from March for Women’s Lives, Washington D.C., April 25, 2004. Photo by Cathy Hannabach.

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