The Queer Theory Workshop will explore cutting edge issues in law and legal regulation from a queer perspective. Readings will cover the ways in which "queer" exceeds a notion of "lesbian and gay" by taking a critique of stable identity as a starting point for politics and law. In that respect the workshop will focus on the ways in which legal categorization, regulation and even the idea of lgbt rights end up creating and then disciplining those whose behaviors and ways of life lie outside of what law privileges.
Readings and speakers will cover questions such as: are sex offenders the new queers; the relationship of laws criminalizing sex trafficking and sex work to sexual and reproductive rights more generally; what role does and should the state play in regulating the relation between sex, gender identity, and gender expression; what is presumed to be at stake in the debates over same-sex marriage, sodomy laws, and the equal rights claims of sexual minorities; how has sexuality, or myths of sexuality, been used to wield power against people of color? The workshop 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 each class posing questions about the reading, and then one 15-20 page 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.