Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
I. Course Prefix/Number: HUM 141
Course Name: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
IV. Learning Objectives
After completing this course, students will be able to:
- Describe the historical emergence and basic concepts of competing philosophical theories regarding identity, sexuality and gender and apply these theories to contemporary issues.
- Explain how these theories lead to different strategies for ending discrimination based on sexuality and/or gender identity.
- Critically evaluate these theories and be able to formulate and argue for their own positions.
- Analyze a broad selection of relevant literary works.
- Evaluate the historical relationship between literature and the development of the LGBTQ discipline.
- Discuss interconnections between sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, and class.
- Review the history of same-sex relationships and gender variance from ancient times to the present.
- Demonstrate a familiarity with the historical development of the gay rights movement and of the LGBTQ discipline and of how these developments transformed culture in a number of areas.
- Evaluate and discuss the historical and philosophical relationships between the LGBTQ and Feminist movements.
- Exhibit values related to teamwork and collaboration, fostered by the pedagogy of shared-inquiry and critical dialogue appropriate to the humanities and philosophy.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- What is Sexuality? What is LGBTQ Studies? Why is it important?
- An Overview of Selected Theories Related to LGBTQ Studies and their Applications to Contemporary Issues. For example:
- Essentialist Theories/Nature vs. Nurture
- Natural Law Theory
- Marxist/Socialist Theory
- Poststructuralism and Queer Theory
- Postcolonial and Transnational Theories
- Intersectionality Theory
- Feminist Theories and the Politics of Location
- Historical Overview of Same-sex Relationships
- Same-sex practices and gender variance in the ancient and medieval worlds
- Ancient Greece and Rome
- The Middle East and Far East
- Pre-Columbian America
- Judeo-Christian cultures
- Desire and identity in the early modern period
- The status of women, romantic friendships and “passing” women
- The rise of gay identity and subcultures.
- Constructing the modern homosexual
- Sexuality in the Victorian era
- Sexology: a new field of study
- Politics and practices in the 20th century
- Homosexuality as deviation
- Women’s liberation and the development of contemporary lesbian identity
- Urban life and the rise of queer communities
- World War II and McCarthyism
- The homophile movement
- Same-sex practices and gender variance in the ancient and medieval worlds
- The Rise of the Gay Rights Movement
- Stonewall and beyond
- Emerging visibility and activism in the 1960s and 1970s
- AIDS activism
- Antigay backlash
- Gays in the military
- Same-sex marriage and other contemporary issues
- LGBTQ Literature
- Early literary models prior to gay identity
- Whitman and his descendants
- Expatriate female literary figures
- Drama and queer performance
- Global literary perspectives
- Censorship and moral panic
- LGBTQ Models in Contemporary Popular Media and Culture
- Lesbian pulp novels and gay physique pictorials
- Queer transgressions and aesthetics
- Diverse representations in film and television
- The internet and alternate media
- Sexuality Studies Methodologies and the Transformation of Several Contemporary Humanities Disciplines (with possible focus on a contemporary work of philosophy, cultural theory, literary criticism, media studies or other humanities discipline).
VII. Methods of Instruction
- Lectures and discussion
- Small group work
- Films and Internet resources
- Field trips to public forums, galleries, plays, and performances
- Guest speakers
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
(Please include information here about all expectations you have for your students regarding behavior, work, etc. The following are sample topics you may wish to cover. Please be aware that you must require students in this course to produce at least 15 pages of critical writing over the course of the semester. These may be assigned in a variety of ways including essays, journals, response papers, etc.)
- Standards for written work
- Individual or group presentations
- Final Project
- Special policies about make-up exams, late papers, or other matters of concern
IX. Instructional Materials
The following text is recommended:
Finding Out: An Introduction to LGBT Studies. Deborah T. Meem, Michelle. A. Gibson and Jonathon F. Alexander, eds. Sage Publications, 2009.
Additional individual works of literature including novels, poetry, essays, short stories, plays and films
Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Two Exams (100 pts each) 200 points
Two Reaction Papers (4-5 pages; 50 pts each) 100 points
Research Essay (8-10 pages) 100 points
Reading Group Assignment 100 points
-Group Participation 25 points
-Presentation 25 points
-Written Report (3-4 pages) 50 points
Ten Pop Quizzes/Assignments (10 pts each) 100 points
POSSIBLE TOTAL 600 points
A = 540 – 600
B = 480 – 539
C = 420 – 479
D = 360 – 419
F = 359 or below
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.
Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.
For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.
Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.