In this course, we will explore the political and politicized lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer peoples living in the United States, focusing on the period from World War II to the present. Centering an intersectional framework and historical critique of “progress,” we will focus our attention on the interrelationship between protest (how LGBTQ+ people have come out and organized themselves), politics (how LGBTQ+ people have confronted and navigated the “culture wars”), and policy (how LGBTQ+ people have challenged and shaped laws and legislation) from the Homophile Generation (1940s and 1950s) to the Stonewall Generation (1960s and 1970s) to the AIDS Generation (1980s and 1990s) to the Marriage Generation (2000s and 2010s) and beyond. We will explore significant movement moments, examine a diverse range of change agents, and analyze specific legal and legislative inflection points. Ongoing and targeted discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is a pressing modern phenomenon, yet too often it is altogether ignored or treated as an afterthought in discussions and debates about human rights, social justice, law and public policy—despite the fact that such practices of prejudice and abuses of power continue to perpetuate stigma and perpetrate violence against queer people in myriad ways. The modern LGBTQ+ movement in the United States offers some vital lessons about the long and contested struggle over representation and rights, assimilation and acceptance, and equity and liberation. We won't cover everything or figure it all out in one semester, but students who are interested in knowing this history and changing our world will be welcomed and valued in this course.
Also offered by the Graduate School of Education as H213.