ENGL 224H: Queer Literature - Honors

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2024
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
Total Student Learning Hours: 162
Prerequisite: ENGL 101 or ENGL 101E or ENGL 101H; also, student must be eligible for the Citrus College Honors Program or obtain a recommendation from an Honors instructor.
District General Education: C2. Humanities
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This honors course is a survey of queer literature in a variety of literary genres. The wide-range of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ+) experience is examined from various cultural points of reference and literary devices that characterize this genre. Students will read selections from a variety of cultures. Additionally, students will analyze the ways historical, social, economic, and psychological forces shape LGBTQ+ cultures and the literatures they produce. The course also exposes students to distinguishing elements of literary forms and to analyzing literature of any genre. In addition, students are expected to work and participate at an honors level which includes strong critical thinking skills, thorough analysis of fiction and on non-fiction literary readings, presentation and leadership skills demonstrated through class participation/presentation, and service learning in the community. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Discuss and interpret representative LGBTQ+ authors and works, demonstrating familiarity of shared themes.
  • Analyze the style, structure, language, and literary elements of queer literature.
  • Interpret the text from a variety of critical perspectives (including queer, trans, and feminist theory) in order to understand its value.
  • Explore the cultural, political, and social contexts in the writings of LGBTQ+ authors from diverse cultures and eras.
  • Write unified, clear, and coherent essays that demonstrate critical analysis of key works by queer authors and/or about queer experiences.
  • Student presentations exploring significant voices contributing to LGBTQ+ literature.

Major Course Content

  1. Introduction to various theoretical approaches, including feminist theory, gender theory, and queer theory.
  2. Ancient Greco-Roman homosocialization 
    1. Plato, Sappho
  3. European renaissance homosocial representation
    1. Shakespeare, Marlowe
  4. 19th Century and the Industrial Age homosocial representation
    1. Melville, Woolf, Wilde, Conrad, Whitman
    2. Emergence of "homosexual/lesbian" terminology
  5. Early 20th Century/Pre-WWII era LBGTQ representation
    1. Baldwin, Forster
  6. Civil Rights Movement of the Stonewall period LGBTQ representation
    1. Ginsberg
    2. Shift in YA publishing (Miller, Scoppetone)
  7. Late 20th Century LGBTQ Representation
    1. United States (Le Guin, Fierstein, Lorde, Proulx, Maupin)       
    2. International (Anzaldua, Winterston, Almodovar)
  8. Contemporary Representation LGBTQIA+
    1. General Fiction (Rudnick, Bechdel)
    2. YA Literature, multicultural voices (Saenz, Donaghue, Schiefauer)
    3. Transgender representation (Hill, Andrews, Waidner)
    4. International Homosocial and LGBTQ+ representation (Chinelo, Huddad, Taïa)
  9. Student/collaborative project
    1. Exploration and presentation of student-identified voice(s) that contribute to the genre

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Supplementary readings on the historical and cultural contexts of the literature under discussion in class.
Interpretive applications of the literature under discussion in class.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Example #1: Write an essay in which you compare the experiences of LGBTQ+ characters from one of the 20th century novels we have studied to those characters in one of the 21st century novels we have studied, explaining how the societal context of the novel may have suggested changes in attitudes, language, and behavior.
Example #2: Sappho's poetry centers on relationships among women. Write a 3-4 page essay where you analyze one of Sappho’s poems and explain how this poem illustrates themes of passionate love and reflects the attitudes toward homosexual people of the time period between 612 BCE and 570 BCE. (Keep in mind that the word lesbian was not in use until the 19th century.)

Examples of Outside Assignments

Read "Brokeback Mountain" and be prepared to discuss ways the characters' decisions and actions seem to be influenced by the laws and social norms of the era.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 3: Arts and Humanities

3B. Humanities

IGETC Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

4D. Gender Studies