BA Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Queer Bodies and the Cinema

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM30331
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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)?



Pre-requisite units

Any L2 core Drama Study or Film module

Co-requisite units

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 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 

Teaching and learning methods



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

Intellectual skills

·         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

Practical skills

  •          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

Employability skills

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

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 60%
Oral assessment/presentation 40%

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Consultation on presentation and essay plans and outlines - oral


Presentation – written and oral

Formative and Summative

Essay – written



Recommended reading

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.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Darren Waldron Unit coordinator

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