Queer Studies

  • QS 201
  • QS 151
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Minor in Queer Studies

The minor in Queer Studies is an 18 unit minor. It consists of:

  • 3 required courses (9 units)
  • 3 elective courses (9 units)

Students who have already taken some Queer Studies electives may apply them retroactively to the minor.

Minor students must take QS 301, 302 and 3 elective courses for a letter grade. QS 490 can be taken for a letter grade or for credit/no credit for all students.

1. Upper Division Required Courses (9 units)

QS 301 Perspectives in Queer Studies (3)

This course introduces students to the current theories and histories in queer studies, including such closely related fields as transgender studies. The course also introduces students to the scope of queer studies, to scholarly, community-based and activist resources, and to the varied interdisciplinary, methodological and theoretical paradigms in the field. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

QS 302 L.A. in Transit: Communities, Organizations and Politics (3)

This course provides students with a broad understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexed and queer communities, organizations and politics in Los Angeles, with attention to how these are shaped by nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, class and other identifications. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.) (IC)

QS 490 Queer Studies Senior Capstone (3)

Students develop and complete theoretically informed individualized research projects in queer studies in a structured setting. The project will include peer and instructor feedback and guidance on selecting an appropriate topic; conducting research, drafting and revising the project, and presenting the completed project. Course may be offered online or in a classroom setting.

2. Electives (9 units)

QS 101: Introduction to Queer Studies (3):

Provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Queer Studies, which aims to problematize rigid identity categories and destabilize essentialized norms of expression. The course will cover the history of how concepts such as gender and desire have been understood and articulated; heteronormativity and its relationship to capitalism, race, and gender roles; queer aesthetics; and queer strategies and tactics of resistance. (Available for General Education, C2 Humanities and F Comparative Cultural Studies.)

QS 151: Fundamentals of Public Speaking (3):

Prerequisites: Multiple Measures Placement in GE-level writing, or completion of 113A or 114A, or completion of the lower division writing requirement. This course is designed to provide both an introduction to the principles of public speaking and a forum for practicing public speaking skills with particular attention to issues and contexts of significance to LGBTQIA communities. Through a variety of strategies students will learn the processes by which effective speeches are conceived, prepared, and delivered. Includes intensive practice in public speaking, reasoning and critical listening. Public speaking from the perspective of Queer Studies will introduce students to techniques in speaking articulately and critically on queer issues. (Cross-listed with AAS 151, AFRS 151, CAS 151, CHS 151 and COMS 151/L.) (Available for General Education, Basic Skills A1 Oral Communication.)

QS 201: Race and Ethnicity in Queer Studies (3):

Preparatory: Completion of the lower division writing requirement is recommended. Introduction to the process of critical thinking through the lens of race, ethnicity and sexuality. QS 201 offers an exploration of race and ethnicity and its relationship to Queer Studies, emphasizing critical reading of theory, praxis, and artistic texts. This course also examines the specific development of queer of color critique, its indebtedness to women of color feminism, and its emergence as a response to the whiteness of mainstream queer theory. Students will engage the work of artists, scholars, and activists to interrogate the dominant discourses in the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, nation, and diaspora within the context of empire and neoliberalism and in relation to citizenship, welfare, and terrorism. (Available for General Education, Basic Skills A3 Critical Thinking.) 

QS 204 Queer Identity: Pop Music and Its Audience (3)

This course analyzes queer identity and its relation to pop music, focusing primarily on explicit representations of LGBTQ themes, experiences, characters, and communities in pop music. Course themes include positive images, creation of alternative space, AIDS, coming out, celebrity, and the gay audience. Through close readings of queer theory and criticism, we will analyze the phenomenon of queer music by exploring the contested relationships between spectator and text, identity and commodity, realism and fantasy, activism and entertainment, desire and politics.

QS 208 Issues in Queer Health (3)

Issues in Queer Health explores and analyzes various health and illness topics affecting individuals and communities in non-normative and non-heterosexist positions in society. We explore experiences in health and illness through an interdisciplinary approach to navigate critical constructs of identity, gender, and sexuality. Through this course, we examine the intersection of non-normative communities with health status, health disparities, the health care system, and medicine, with a focus on the U.S., but also including a diversity of geographic contexts. (Available for General Education, F Comparative Cultural Studies.)

QS 303: Transgender Studies (3):

Examines the interdisciplinary field of trans studies, tracing ongoing contestation over transgender identities in historical, medical, political, legal, social and cultural contexts. (Available for General Education, C2 Humanities and F Comparative Cultural Studies).

QS 304 Queering the Screen, Queering the Spectator (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. This course analyzes queer film and media since the 1970s, focusing primarily on explicit representations of LGBTQ characters and communities in cinema, television, and cyberculture. Themes include positive images, AIDS, coming out, celebrity, and the gay market. Through close readings of queer theory and criticism, we will analyze the contested relationships between spectator and text, identity and commodity, realism and fantasy, activism and entertainment, desire and politics. (Available for General Education, F Comparative Cultural Studies.)

QS 305 Queer Identity: Analyzing and Writing Fanfiction (3)

This class will survey the history and significance of queer fanfiction, from the early 1990s to the present, and examine a range of queer fan cultures and practices. Through an examination of the discourses of both pathology and empowerment that circulate around the cultural conception of the “queer fan,” this course will consider contemporary debates around fan labor and the commodification of queer fan culture. In addition to critically analyzing queer fans’ transformative works, students will mobilize course concepts to produce and theorize fan texts of their own. 

QS 369 The Nature of Queer (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. This course introduces students to the biology of sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Students will gain an understanding of the biological determinants of sex, including the role of specific genes on human development and how hormones influence gross anatomy as well as brain development. Students will learn how to critically assess scientific literature and how the scientific method can be used to address issues of sex and gender. The biological evolution of sex from asexual to sexual reproduction will be discussed and students will be exposed to current hypotheses of the biological basis of sexual orientation. (Available for General Education, B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning.)

QS 401A-Z Advanced Topics in Queer Studies (3)

Intensive study of selected topics in queer studies, such as queer theory, transgender theory, queer issues in education, queer popular culture, the queer diaspora and the globalization and medicalization of sex and gender. Topics change from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit with instructor’s consent.

QS 499 Queer Studies Independent Study (3)

Queer Studies independent study is for advanced students who are interested in working on an independent project with a faculty sponsor. The student needs to complete an Independent Study Form with the approval signature from the faculty sponsor and the Queer Studies Coordinator.


AAS 455 Asian American Sexuality (3)

Preparatory: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Explores the personal, social and political identities of Asian Americans as expressed from the lens of sexuality; interdisciplinarily examines current topics in Asian American sexuality, such as gender roles, cultural beliefs and sexual mythology, sexual practices, media images, literary representations, sexual violence and abuse, sex-related health, sex work and commodification, and sexual orientation.

ENGL 368 Gay Male Writers (3)

Preparatory: Completion of Lower Division writing requirement. Examines works in British and American literature that: a) were written by gay men; and b) portray the lives of gay individuals. Focusing primarily on texts written since the late 19th century and traces the development of gay male self-representation in poetry, novels, short fiction, drama and nonfiction.

ENGL 369 Lesbian Writers (3)

Preparatory: Completion of Lower Division writing requirement. Primarily focuses on the work of lesbian writers of the 20th century. Using the approaches of current feminist literary theorists, the course explores the diversity and intersections of lesbian literary traditions and examines the extent to which lesbian writers have followed and/or altered genre conventions in fiction and poetry.

GWS 410 Sex, Lies and Media (3)

In this course, students employ critical perspectives to examine narrow definitions of gender/sexuality constructed in media representations. Students deconstruct norms of masculinity and femininity generated by industries such as television, film and advertising that perpetuate and naturalize the commodification of women's bodies. Special attention is paid to bodies and modes of sexuality that transgress (representations of the queer body, for example). Students also construct alternative imagery and generate new ideas about gender and sexuality through discussion and various projects.

GWS 430 Global Sexualities (3)

Neoliberal globalization is as fundamental to understanding contemporary discourses of sexuality as sexuality is key to understanding global issues. The course will foreground a wide range of theoretical perspectives of feminist, queer and globalization theories that help students understand how the emergence of sexuality as an intellectual and social arena is concurrent with specific characteristics of the globalization process and how the new theories of sexuality advance and challenge the feminist agenda for global social and gender justice.

LING 325 Language, Gender, and Identity (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. This course studies language as a major factor in our formation of our self-identity and our conceptualization of ourselves and others as male or female. It provides a comprehensive introduction from a linguistic perspective to issues of language, gender, identity and power. (Available for General Education, F Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 406 Philosophy of Sex, Gender, Sexuality (3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 303 or 348, or QS 301 or 302. An examination of issues in philosophy of sex, gender or sexuality, with emphasis on non-normative sex, gender or sexuality.

SOC 452 Sociology of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Communities (3)

Prerequisites: Junior standing. Analysis of cross-cultural and historical treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Survey of sociological research on these communities, including an examination of theory and practice. Analysis of homophobia and other attitudes toward these communities

Or Other elective courses as approved by the Program Coordinator.