WGS.181 | Fall 2017 | Undergraduate

Queer Cinema and Visual Culture



Introduction and overview


The Celluloid Closet. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Color and Black and White, 104 min. 1996.

Special screening: I Am Not Your Negro. Directed by Raoul Peck. Color and Black and White, 93 min. 2017.
I. Pre-Stonewall & the Hollywood Production Code: The Making of a Gay Subtext

Before Stonewall / Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria


Excerpts from Before Stonewall. Directed by Greta Schiller and Robert Rosenberg. Color and Black and White, 87 min. 1985.

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria. Directed by Victor Silverman and Susan Stryker. Color, 57 min. 2005.

Discussion of pre-Stonewall cultural climate and what makes a text “queer” (Cather, Hall, Sedgwick)

Facebook post due: Initial impressions of the pre-Stonewall cultural climate for LGBTQ Americans
3 Discussion: Rope. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Color, 80 min. 1948. Facebook post due: Response to Rope and the concept of confession as it relates to homosexuality 
4 Discussion: The Children’s Hour. Directed by William Wyler. Black and White, 108 min. 1961. Facebook post due: Response to The Children’s Hour and the loosening of the Hollywood Production Code
II. Looking Back: Representing a Queer Past
5 Discussion: The Danish Girl. Directed by Tom Hooper. Color, 119 min. 2016. Facebook post due: Response to The Danish Girl and representational politics of casting
6 Discussion: Carol. Directed by Todd Haynes. Color, 118 min. 2016.

Facebook post due: Response to Carol and the challenges of looking back in time at LGBT lives 

Critical response / review essay due

7 Discussion: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Facebook post due: Response to Fun Home and graphic novel as queer text 

Representations of AIDS & Black Masculinity

Discussion: Philadelphia. Directed by Jonathan Demme. Color, 125 min. 1994.

Screening and discussion: Tongues Untied. Directed by Marlon Riggs. Color, 55 min. 1989.

Final paper / project guidelines

Facebook post due: Response to Philadelphia and the cinematic representation of AIDS
III. New Queer Cinema
9 Discussion: Paris Is Burning. Directed by Jennie Livingston. Color, 71 min. 1991.

Facebook post due: Response to Paris Is Burning and the performativity of gender

Final paper / project description for independent option due

10 Discussion: Camp Draft of prospectus for final paper / project due
11 Discussion: The Watermelon Woman. Directed by Cheryl Dunye. Color, 90 min. 1997. Facebook post due: Response to The Watermelon Woman, fake documentary, and / or the invisibility of black lesbians
IV. Contemporary Queer, Contemporary Trans
12 Discussion: Free CeCe! Directed by Jacqueline Gares. Color, 100 min. 2018. Facebook post due: Response to Free CeCe!

Discussion: Sense8. Color, 60 min. episodes. 2015–2018.

New directions in streaming TV

Final paper / project due 

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2017