WGS Summer Course!

Digital and Queer: LGBT After the Internet(Special Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies)

21:988:389:B5–Summer Session I


If you or your students are considering a course in Women’s and Gender Studies during the summer session this year, I would like to let you know about the class I am teaching: “Queer and Digital: LGBT After the Internet” (Special Topics 389, section B5). The class will run during the first summer session (May 27-July 3) and is entirely online (on Blackboard). The course will combine media studies and LGBT studies in an online setting specifically designed to optimize their mutual study. Please have a look at the course description below and feel free to distribute widely to potentially interested students. If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at jgillp@scarletmail.rutgers.edu.




Julian Gill-Peterson



Course Description


This course asks a broad question of our present world: why has the increasing visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people taken place at the same time as the rise of the Internet, social networking, and new media? What have been the effects of the digital era on gender, sexuality, and race in the United States? This class will combine media studies and LGBT studies to look at the origins and future of the queer digital generation. We will begin by examining the 1990s Internet and the first appearance of LGBT people online in chat rooms, listservs, and in early media accounts of the web. Then we will examine Web 2.0, with a special focus on social media and sexuality, including MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Kik. We will examine how LGBT people use social media and how social media in turn changes the very idea of sexuality, looking at examples like cyberbullying and sexting. We will also examine at each stage of the course the relationships of sexuality to gender and race.


This is a fully online course: it will have recorded lectures by the instructor, PowerPoint slides, and weekly readings. The assignments will be submitted on Blackboard and include very short weekly reading responses, a creative social media assignment, and a final exam. There are no books to buy; all readings will be PDFs or web links.


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