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by: Cara-Liesel Ransom

QSX101-9/26 QSX 111 - M001

Cara-Liesel Ransom

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About this Document

What was discussed in 9/26 lecture w/ Prof. Riley.
Queer Histories and Politics
Professor R. Riley
Class Notes
QSX101, QSX, 101, queer, histories, and, Politics, Studies
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Cara-Liesel Ransom on Friday September 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to QSX 111 - M001 at Syracuse University taught by Professor R. Riley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views.

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Date Created: 09/30/16
Monday 9/26/16 How LGBThistory works Two Projects: 1a.Biographical Reclamation: James Baldwin,Janis Joplin, Gertrude Stein. We point to these people because itshows how the samesexrelationships have existedover a long period time. Thesepeople are accredited and that being gayis okay. Sappho, Socrates, Virginia Wolfe b. More recent efforts aretrying to consider context i. It’s not enough to point out a same sexhistorical figurebut alsowhat it meant for that figure to be LGBTAinthat culture/era. 2a.Documenting the history of LGBTrepressions and resistance.This history is almostas suppressed as that ofLGBT people themselves. Why is thathistory is repressed as well?  There are shameful moments in the history. The allies evencontinued to imprison members of the LGBT community in camps after WWII becausethey thought itwas justified.  Consequently, LGBT historians have to be determined when searching for research of repression, persecution, and oppression.  This determination could, however, shadeover the good moments of LGBTculture and history due to the horror story moments overcasting them. Newest fieldof LGBT history:  Reconstruction of the social history or homosexuality.  The categories usedto interpret sexual relations  Patterns/practices of everyday lifeor “behaviors” within LGBT.(“behaviors” can insinuatethat there are more specimen qualities,than human qualities.I.e, puppies and toddlers have behaviors.) How to interpret suchstudies and what constitutes a proper subject of inquiry. LGBThistorians remain divided. For example, have LGBTpeople always existed?We make a distinction between LGBT and same-sexdesire.  We have to be careful considering this argument, becausethe interpretation of gayness and queerness that we have now, might not have been the samething back in another era.  Historians argue about categories that have shiftedover time and the meanings they represent.  Thesehistorians (^) are now called“social constructionists.)They are influenced by Foucault and believethat LGBTidentity is a new phenomenon created in the west. They argue that all sexual categories andidentities are sociallyconstructed and historically specific. So, sincethe meaning ofLGBT changes through history, the meaning of heterosexuality changed through history as well.It didn’t existin the samenorm as now. Ifsexualitymeanings do change over time, then what exactly arewe talking about? Is there, then, any sexualityto study?  Social constructionists would reply that the presenceof sexualityis exactlywhat we should be asking questions about. They would alsoargue that even ifour sexualities are societallyconstructed, they cannot be easilychanged.  The strength of this theory lies inits ambiguity Historians of male homosexuality saythat they have assumed that certain acts of sexare recognized of “homosexuality” and the desire to perform thesesexual acts marks one as gay. Historians of lesbianhistory have disagreedabout the centrality of desirefor certain sexacts as criteria for identity. Some argue that women are naturally lesbian(lesbianbeing a close friendship w/o any means of sex)rather than homosexual


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