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Queer Studies Across Disciplines - ENG00157M

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Hannah Roche
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

“If queer theory is going to have the sort of future worth cherishing,” wrote David Halperin in 2003, “we will have to find ways of renewing its radical potential—and by that I mean reinventing its capacity to startle, to surprise, to help us think what has not yet been thought.” Two decades on, this unique module showcases queer theory at its radical, startling, and surprising best. Pushing against disciplinary boundaries, the module introduces you to a diverse range of approaches to queer theory and queer studies from across the arts and humanities. The module explores LGBTQIA+ identities, communities, and creative cultures from both academic and popular perspectives, applying a queer lens to a wide selection of texts, artworks, and performances.

Each week, you will encounter a new approach to queer studies. Key questions may include: what does it mean to read queerly? How might a voice or the grammar of a sentence be interpreted as queer? Where do writers, photographers, and filmmakers preserve, amplify, or even diminish the queer? How might a focus on unlikely sites of queerness, from punk songs to nature documentaries, help us to think what has not yet been thought?

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This is the core module for the MA in Queer Studies. The module takes an interdisciplinary, intersectional, and international approach to queer theory and queer studies, drawing on a range of scholarly approaches and methodologies. Through close engagement with a variety of primary materials, from literary texts to films and songs, you will develop your skills of formal analysis and interpretation. By the end of the module, you will have gained familiarity with key theoretical and critical debates in queer studies from a number of disciplinary perspectives. Contributing departments may include English and Related Literature, History, History of Art, Language and Linguistic Science, and Music.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with theoretical and critical debates in queer studies from a number of disciplinary perspectives.

  2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of and engagement with a range of primary materials by and about LGBTQIA+ people.

  3. Evaluate key debates within the relevant critical fields dealing with queer studies, gender and sexuality, and intersectionality.

  4. Produce independent arguments and ideas which demonstrate an advanced proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.


Task Length % of module mark
4500 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
4500 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your module tutor, the MA Convenor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours

Indicative reading

Key texts will include foundational works of queer theory—including Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality (1976), Judith Butler's Gender Trouble (1990), and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's Between Men (1985) and Epistemology of the Closet (1990)—along with more recent works on queer studies from across disciplines. You may encounter recent linguistic research on voice training for trans women, scholarship on queer cultural production and the creative industries, and discussions of queer nature and ecology.

You will apply your critical and theoretical reading to a diverse range of texts, films, artworks, and songs, which may include:

Gertrude Stein, How To Write (1931)

Harryette Mullen, Sleeping with the Dictionary (2002)

Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain (1997) and Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt (1952) and Todd Haynes, Carol (2015)

Claude McKay, Romance in Marseille (2020)

Derek Jarman, Smiling in Slow Motion (1991-4)

Ana Mendieta’s artworks

Selections from Clare Barlow (ed.), Queer British Art 1867-1967 (2017); Nayland Blake and Lawrence Rinder (eds), In a Different Light: Visual Culture, Sexual Identity, Queer Practice (1995); Tessa Boffin and Sunil Gupta (eds), Ecstatic Antibodies: Resisting the AIDS Mythology (1990); Jonathan D. Katz (ed.), Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture (2010)

Selections from Curran Nault, Queercore: Queer Punk Media Subculture (2017); Nadine Monem, Riot Grrrl: Revolution Grrrl Style Now! (2007); and Liam Warfield et al., Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution: An Oral History (2021).

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.