This seminar, previously called the Queer Theory Workshop, will explore in the spring of 2014 the ways in which appeals to religion, tradition and/or culture have been increasingly used to limit or trump the application of otherwise generally applicable laws securing equal rights for LGBT people and reproductive/sexual rights more generally. The seminar will cover the legal and political contexts in which religion or conscience are used to carve out exceptions to otherwise universally binding rights of equality and sexual liberty.
The seminar sessions will be comprised of outside speakers for half of the sessions and selected readings related to the work of the outside speakers in the intervening sessions. Students will be expected to write short papers for each class, posing questions about the reading, and then one 15-20 page (double-spaced) final paper on a topic of their choosing, approved by the professor. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their class participation, short papers, and their final paper.