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January 08, 2008

How To Be Gay

A new course at the University of Michigan. Seriously. That's what it's called.

ENGLISH 317. Literature and Culture.

Section 002 — How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Instructor(s): David M Halperin (halperin@umich.edu)

Course Description:

Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn't mean that you don't have to learn how to become one. Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not.

...

In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: Hollywood movies, grand opera, Broadway musicals, and other works of classical and popular music, as well as camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style, and political activism. Are there a number of classically 'gay' works such that, despite changing tastes and generations, all gay men, of whatever class, race, or ethnicity, need to know them, in order to be gay? What is there about gay identity that explains the gay appropriation of these works? What do we learn about gay male identity by asking not who gay men are but what it is that gay men do or like? One aim of exploring these questions is to approach gay identity from the perspective of social practices and cultural identifications rather than from the perspective of gay sexuality itself. What can such an approach tell us about the sentimental, affective, or subjective dimensions of gay identity, including gay sexuality, that an exclusive focus on gay sexuality cannot?

Didn't we just used to watch Lost in Space to know all this crap?


Thanks to Deb.


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posted by Ace at 01:31 AM

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