Seminar: Queer Theory and Rhetoric


Course Description

Queer theory critiques normality through a critical-cultural approach to sex, sexuality, and the body. This course explores how queer theory reconfigures rhetoric studies. Students will study the queerness of rhetorical situations through discourses on sex, the performativity of gender, the act of coming out, and the racialization of the body. As such, we will consider how queerness disrupts the boundary between rhetorical theory, criticism, and the archive.

Course Content

Readings include foundational texts to queer theory, work in rhetoric studies, and contemporary debates in both fields. Student should expect to learn prominent queer theories, queer forms of critique, and queer destabilization of the rhetorical canon. Course requirements include class discussion, public wiki participation, an annotated bibliography, and a final paper

Select Readings

–Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume 1
–Judith Butler, "Critically Queer" and "Imitation and Gender Insubordination"
Morris et al, "Queer Archives / Archival Queers"
–Bennett, "Queer Citizenship and the Stigma of Banned Blood," Banning Queer Blood
–Ridinger, Speaking for Our Lives: Historic Speeches