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Gay Paris: Culture, Society & Urban Sexual Identity
Academic Institution: CEA GlobalCampus: Paris
Location: Paris, FrancePrimary Subject Area: Gender Studies
UNH Course Code: GEN230
Instruction in: English
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45
Required Supplies: Course website at www.gaypariscea.blogspot.com (view description below ***)
This course investigates cultural, social and literary histories of homosexual identity in the context of urban space in Paris, France. You will examine formations and constructions of sexual identity as it has been framed in Paris, specifically within the past 100 years.
You will begin by examining the theoretical underpinnings of sexuality and sexual identity. Employing the theoretical tools of theorists Foucault, Butler, Halperin, Lacquer and others, you will excavate the sexual identity, history and place within modern urban conditions and build a historiographical foundation of sexual identity. You will unearth and examine deviance, homophobia and homo-criminality in the context of these considerations and scrutinize these factors specifically within a French setting.
You will also engage in a historical analysis of homosexuality in 20th century Paris. You will start with 'Women of the Left Bank' - that band of pioneering women writers and thinkers (many lesbian and bisexual), who lived in Paris during the Belle Époque and interwar years. You will also look into manifestations of queer culture during World War I and the years leading up to World War II, investigating how war and soldier-hood marked sexual identity and experience. You will then analyze the effects of the Trente Glorieuses and subsequent Cultural Revolution in Paris on homosexual subjectivity in the late 1960's and consider the political and intellectual consequences stemming from it: post-1968 French Feminism, gay liberation movements in the 1970's, the advent of the gay press, AIDS, and gay citizenship and political concerns across the 1990s and into the 21st century.
In any discussion built around a monolithic term such as 'homosexuality', it is imperative to examine questions of difference. Within our historical review, you will study how the categories of race, socioeconomic status, religion, class, ethnicity and immigration crosscut sexual identity and sexual citizenship.
Throughout the semester, you will participate in the building of the intellectual superstructure of the course by creating and utilizing two physical maps: gay Paris and lesbian Paris. These maps will pinpoint and reflect gay and lesbian urban spaces, community centers and locales in the contemporary city space, both geographically and temporally. You will chart past focal points for historical gay and lesbian citizens of the city - many of whom were literary and art figures who, through their experience in Paris, exerted considerable influence on the history of ideas. These maps will provide you with a sense of how gay and lesbian individuals and communities, within a variety of contexts, situate themselves and exert their subjectivities on the spaces they occupy.
***The professor, Emilie Johnson Joly, has developed a website to accompany the course. Updated after each class, the site includes a number of useful links students can use to access important course materials such as a syllabus, course readings, past class study excursions, and assignments. Interactive student contact with a blog as well as an online comments function are designed to engage students in a process of continual active learning and personal exploration of the course's fascinating topics and themes. You can view the website here: http://gaypariscea.blogspot.com/