BA Music and Drama / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
Queer Bodies and the Cinema
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course offers students an historical overview of shifts in representations of queer identities, desires and lifestyles throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It includes films from Anglophone as well as non-Anglophone and non-Western cultures. Each week, students will be presented with a key theme that will be supported by close analysis of a corpus film. The materiality of lived experience as it is depicted in film will constitute a recurring theme throughout and will be exemplified by examining the figure of the queer body. Hence, while the course will draw on debates from Lesbian and Gay Studies and Queer Theory as well as more generalised film theory, it will also engage with ethics, existentialism and phenomenology and their application in scholarship on film representations.
Available on which programme(s)?
L3 Drama, Drama and Screen, Drama and English, Music and Drama, Film Minor programmes
Available as Free Choice (UG) or to other programmes (PG)?
Any L2 core Drama Study or Film module
Any L3 Core Drama or Film module
- To provide students with an overview of representations of and approaches to LGBTQ issues in cinema
- To acquaint students with the social, political and academic debates that accompany those representations/approaches
- To introduce students to the ways in which queer issues are approached in countries beyond the USA and UK
- To equip students with the necessary analytical and critical skills to analyse the corpus films and evaluate representational and aesthetic strategies deployed by filmmakers
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
Indicative syllabus (may vary each year)
Week 1: Introduction to Key Concepts: ‘Queer’, ‘Bodies’, ‘Cinema’
Week 2: LGBTQ Bodies in Early Cinema
Week 3: Queer Discourses and Camp Aesthetics in Classical Cinema
Week 4: ‘Negative’ Representations: Queers as Victims and/or Demons
Week 5: Queer Bodies on the Margins
Week 6: Queering Mainstream Cinema
Week 7: Radically Queer? New Queer Cinema
Week 8: Cinematic Representations of AIDS
Week 9: Queerness, the Transsexual Body and the Cinema Screen
Week 10: Queerness and Postcolonial Subjectivity in Film
Week 11: The ‘Post-Queer’ Auteur
Week 12: Essay Feedback and Revision
Teaching and learning methods
The course will be taught via:
- Small group discussions and exercises
- Designated consultation hours
The course unit will be complemented by a Blackboard site that conforms to minimum requirements including a course handbook, weekly course breakdown, provision of reading material, reading lists. Supplementary material from seminars will be added as appropriate. The blackboard site will be prepared and available to students at least one week prior to the beginning of the first teaching week each semester.
Knowledge and understanding
- Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the political issues and sensitivities attendant to representations of LGBTQ desires, identities and lifestyles in films from a range of cultures
- Evidence an ability to critically analyse a series of films and evaluate their approach to portraying queer desires, identities and lifestyles
- Demonstrate a keen awareness of how cultural perspectives relate to film representations and approaches to social issues
· Demonstrate an ability to undertake detailed analysis of the corpus films and relate their representations and approaches to broader aesthetic, theoretical and philosophical debates on sexuality and identity
· Demonstrate the capacity to make comparisons between concepts as they circulate within a range of cultural systems and nation states
· Demonstrate the ability to synthesise ideas from a range of different sources, critically evaluate those sources and their applicability to films, build a strong analytical argument and revise approaches in the light of feedback
- Communicate understanding of course materials effectively in both speech (as evidenced through seminar participation and a summative group presentation) and writing (as evidenced by summative assessments)
Transferable skills and personal qualities
· Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively with others about intellectually demanding concepts, topics, materials
· Demonstrate an ability to draw with accuracy, detail and precision on complex materials in independent and group work
- Demonstrate an ability to effectively present – through discussion and in writing – complex topics, drawing convincingly on oral, written and visual media as appropriate to the topic
- Analytical skills
- ¿ an enhanced ability to effectively adapt self-presentation to different audiences/contexts, especially when communicating complex topics
- Group/team working
- ¿ an ability to work productively as part of a group and independently in learning environments that present complex challenges
- Problem solving
- ¿ a good level of critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- ¿ an ability to develop detailed, planned and multi-layered approaches to tasks
|Written assignment (inc essay)||60%|
Formative or Summative
Consultation on presentation and essay plans and outlines - oral
Presentation – written and oral
Formative and Summative
Essay – written
Aaron, Michele (2004) New Queer Cinema: a Critical Reader, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Benshoff, Harry and Griffin, Sean (2004), Queer Cinema, the Film Reader, London and New York: Routledge.
Dyer, Richard (2002) Now You See It: Studies on Lesbian and Gay Film, London and New York: Routledge.
Jagose, Annemarie (1997) Queer Theory: an Introduction, New York: New York University Press. Stacey, Jackie and Street, Sarah (2007) Queer Cinema: a Screen Reader, London and New York: Routledge.
Ruby Rich, B (2013) New Queer Cinema: the Director’s Cut, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Darren Waldron||Unit coordinator|