Queer Theatre

HON 298 – Dr. Donald Gagnon

Modes of Inquiry: Textual Analysis. Historical, Social and Cultural Analysis

Course Description:

In a 2005 book called What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now? several theorists attempt to answer to the title question. First and foremost, the authors interpret the term “queer” as a “political metaphor without a fixed referent.” Queerness signifies resistance to ingrained notions of identity; it is a strategy of defamiliarization and disidentification, and so queer theatre—performance works by, for, and/or about lgbtq+-identified people—is by definition a public act of political resistance and deconstruction. This course in Queer Theatre will examine a series of theatrical texts via queer lenses in order to help students understand the varied ways in which the plays resist and deconstruct gender and sexual hegemony. In particular, it will examine American theatre of the 20th and early 21st centuries as a particularly formative site of queer resistance to cis-heteronormative epistemologies—and ontologies--via a series of queer-identified cultural and aesthetic practices, from “the closet” to queer coding to Pride parades to drag.