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Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
Sociology 39100   idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014
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Sociology 39100 idis 49100 - syllabus spring 2014


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  • 1. Sociology 39100/IDIS 49100: Perspectives on LGBTQ Issues Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30 – 4:45pm Spring 2014 in SWZ 119 PROFESSOR: Dr. Carla A. Pfeffer OFFICE ADDRESS: SWRZ 30G OFFICE TELEPHONE: (219) 785-5264 EMAIL: Please send all course-related correspondence via Blackboard Learn. In an emergency, or if the Blackboard Learn system is down/you cannot access the system, you may contact me at or OFFICE HOURS: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12-2pm (or by appointment) in SWZ 30G COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course offers a broad overview and introduction to the rich interdisciplinary field of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) studies. An interdisciplinary course, we will explore information and evidence across the fields of history, literature and the arts, sociology, anthropology, politics, media, and cultural studies. While our focus will be on sexuality, we will also study how other identities (including race, class, gender, nationality, etc.) influence and affect sexual identities and experiences. Of critical importance is the goal of cultivating your skills for analyzing historical and contemporary texts as sources of evidence for how various sexual experiences and identities have been understood and represented across various times, places, and cultures. In this course, a central component of understanding LGBTQ histories, experiences, identities, and representation will be to develop more critical and analytics understandings of heterosexual histories, experiences, identities, and representations as well. COURSE GOALS: After completing this course, you should be able to:  explain how and why identity categories such as “heterosexual,” “lesbian,” and “queer” are relatively recent inventions.  differentiate between the concepts of sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual identity, and sexual behavior.  formulate critical and analytic responses to media depictions of various sexual identities.  understand the tensions between mainstream and radical LGBTQ identities and social movements.  better understand the ways in which race, gender, class, age, ability and other factors shape the experiences and opportunities of various members of LGBTQ communities.  describe social and cultural factors and processes that lead to both social inequality and social/cultural change for LGBTQ people and communities. REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Michelle A. Gibson, Jonathan Alexander, and Deborah A. Meem’s Finding OUT: An Introduction to LGBT Studies (2014 edition): ISBN: 978-1-4522-3528-8. There will also be a copy of the textbook on reserve (a two-hour loan) at the PNC Library. 1
  • 2. ACCOMMODATIONS: Purdue University North Central is committed to providing all students equal access to learning opportunities. Students with a documented disability that either prevents them from fully participating in any aspect of this course, or that requires an accommodation should contact me within the first two weeks of this course. Students who have self-identified and who have appropriate documentation (from a medical professional) that has been verified through the PNC Disability Services Coordinator (located in LSF 103 or by phone at 219-785-5374), will be given accommodations for this course. It is the student's responsibility to request an accommodation and schedule their exams with the Student Success Center, the Disability Services Coordinator, or me. OFFICE HOURS: Although this is not a requirement, I strongly encourage each of you to make use of my office hours. I would be more than happy to talk with you about any ideas, challenges and/or concerns you might have about the course material, and about sociology more generally. EMAIL ETIQUETTE: Whenever you are addressing an email to someone other than a good friend, you need to follow basic email etiquette. This means that you should have a proper greeting (Hello Professor Pfeffer, etc.), a message body that follows the rules of Standard Written English (capitalization, spelling, grammar and mechanics, etc), and a closing (“Thank you for your help,” or “Thank you for your time”). It is always polite to thank the person for reading the email and trying to assist you. Also, be sure to sign the email with your own first and last name. The subject line of your email should be clear and formal. Messages that do not follow this format will not be read. COURSE FORMAT AND REQUIREMENTS: The reading expectations for this course are very reasonable, but you will be asked to read this material closely and carefully. It is critical, for your success in the course, to make sure that you keep up with the readings so as not to fall behind. You should come to class each Tuesday having read, completely, the assigned readings for that week. This class will be heavily oriented toward class discussion of central course concepts, as well as integration of media resources that exemplify course concepts. You are expected to master the material presented in the readings, media resources and our online and in-class discussions. Your success in this course depends on attending class regularly, actively participating in class, and taking thorough notes. If you simply cannot avoid missing a class, it is expected that you will borrow notes from a classmate. BLACKBOARD LEARN: Blackboard Learn will be used as a supplement in this course. You will access lecture notes, the syllabus, and other course-related materials directly from the Blackboard Learn site for our class. PLEASE SEND EMAILS TO ME ONLY THROUGH BLACKBOARD LEARN. In the event of a campus closure (short or longer-term), all instruction will be conducted online through Blackboard Learn. You will always have access to the syllabus, course assignments, your grades and lecture slides via Blackboard Learn. This system does occasionally crash and, in those instances, you may contact me directly at or 2
  • 3. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Cases of academic dishonesty (including cheating on quizzes, submitting someone else’s work as your own, submitting work that you have submitted for another class for this class, or plagiarizing by failing to give proper credit when incorporating the work of others in your written submissions) will result in a score of zero for the quiz or paper in question and may also result in a student receiving an “F” for the entire course. When you copy our textbook authors’ exact words or phrases, directly from the book and without using quotation marks or citing page numbers, you are committing plagiarism. Remember, I am able to Google the same things you are able to Google. I am also able to note changes in the “voice” of your essays and to cut and paste sections of what you have written into Google to see if the passage is your own creation or someone else’s. I take academic cheating VERY seriously. All cases of academic dishonesty will be formally reported to the Dean of Students, John Weber. For more information about plagiarism and academic dishonesty, see: COURSE EVALUATIONS: Just as you will be evaluated for your performance in this course, your evaluations of my performance as an instructor are a critical way for you to help me improve the course. I will ask for anonymous midterm feedback online and also request that you complete your end-ofsemester course evaluations through Digital Measures here: GRADING AND PARTICIPATION: Your final grade in this course will be based on your achievements on course requirements weighted in the following manner: Active Participation in Class and Online Activities and Discussions 25% Exam #1 (February 06) 15% Exam #2 (March 06) 15% Exam #3 (April 10) 15% Exam #4 (May 06) 15% Group Project 15% GRADING SCALE: Final letter grades are based on standard percentages, not curves, as follows: 97 -100% ...A+ 93 - 96% ... A 90 - 92% ... A87 - 89% ... B+ 83 - 86% ... B 80 - 82% ... B77 - 79% ... C+ 73 - 76% ... C 70 - 72% ... C67 - 69% ... D+ 63 - 66% ... D 60 - 62% ... D<60% … F (students earning this failing grade will not receive credit for taking the course) ACTIVE PARTICIPATION: Active participation in this class comprises a large chunk of your grade—25% in total—and will be determined by your contribution to class discussion facilitation within your group (10% of your final grade), your attendance and performance on pop quizzes (10% of your final grade), and (comprising, cumulatively, 5% of your final grade) your level of attentiveness, your contributions to group discussions in class, and/or your course engagement in other ways (e.g. coming to office hours, posting course-related comments and responses online via the Blackboard Discussion feature). Speaking in larger groups can be difficult for many people. You are encouraged to push beyond your own comfort zone in this course but will have opportunities 3
  • 4. to contribute in smaller group and one-on-one discussions about course materials and online. You are responsible for all material that is covered during any absences. Course materials will be accessible via Blackboard Learn. Please note that being late to class is disruptive and not acceptable. PLEASE TURN OFF ALL CELL PHONES WHEN IN CLASS. When you are in class, you are expected to be focused on the course materials and not engaged in other noncourse-related activities (texting, Twittering, cellphone calls, internet browsing, chatting with someone sitting next to you about Facebook or the weekend, sleeping, newspaper reading, etc.). If you engage in any of these activities while in class, I will not hesitate to ask you to leave the room and your participation grade will be affected. It is critical that you respect others’ rights to express their opinions and perspectives. We will discuss pressing social issues that are often controversial and have the power to provoke heated and impassioned responses. Remember, when expressing your opinions and perspectives, to always be respectful to others. Name-calling, insults, shouting and mockery will not be tolerated in the classroom or in online discussions. EXAMS: There are four in-class exams in this course. Each exam will contain a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions from material presented in the readings, media resources and class discussions. The exams are non-cumulative. Make-up exams will not be given. Exceptions to this rule are made only in dire, unavoidable circumstances (e.g., serious illness or emergency) that are fully documented (e.g., with official correspondence from physicians) and preferably with advance arrangements made directly with the instructor. Makeup exams, when offered, are essay exams. Exams will be held IN CLASS on February 6th, March 6th, April 10th and May 6th. GROUP PROJECT: Early in the semester, you will join 4-5 of your classmates to work on two critical tasks. First, you will be assigned to facilitate one class discussion over the course of the semester. You will receive these assignments during the first week of class. Second, you will develop and work on a class project and presentation over the rest of the semester. You must decide, as a group, what the focus of your project will be. You must also develop goals and tasks for each member of the group to complete. During the last week of the semester, you will present your group project to the rest of the class. You will have twenty minutes, per group, to make your presentation. Each member of the group should be involved directly in the presentation in some way. Your presentation may take the form of a video that your group makes, a poster that you create, a report on some activist or community service project in which you engaged, etc. The focus of your group project should be related to what you are learning in class. You might work to create a student group focusing on raising awareness about HJR-6, a proposed Indiana state constitutional amendment related to same-sex marriage, you could collect data on local city and county ordinances protecting the rights of LGBTQ citizens, you could organize a guest speaker on a relevant topic, you might decide to present information on a topic of interest that extends beyond what you’ve learned or read in class (such as transgender identity, cross-cultural and transnational understandings of sexuality, LGBTQ parenting and families, etc.). Your group must decide on the focus of your project by the end of January and you must submit a brief (onetwo pages, single-spaced) project proposal to me in class on February 4th. Your project proposal should include your group number, group members’ names, topic of your group project, a brief summary of how you intend to conduct your project, and a list of tasks/responsibilities for each group member). YOU MUST RECEIVE APPROVAL FROM ME PRIOR TO BEGINNING YOUR GROUP PROJECT. 4
  • 5. COURSE SCHEDULE & READINGS BY WEEK AND DAY DATE GENERAL TOPIC and CLASS ACTIVITIES SPECIFIC TOPIC and READINGS WEEK #1 History Chapter 1: Before Identity: The Ancient World Through the 19th Century Tuesday, January 14 Introductions, Syllabus Thursday, January 16 Class Discussion of Readings pp. 1-28 WEEK #2 History Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Chapter 2: Sexology Tuesday, January 21 Thursday, January 23 WEEK #3 Tuesday, January 28 Thursday, January 30 WEEK #4 Tuesday, February 4 Thursday, February 6 Class Discussion of Readings, Media History Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Class Discussion of Readings, Media History Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities GROUP PROJECT PROPOSALS DUE IN CLASS TODAY EXAM 1 IN CLASS (covers pp. 1-99) 5 pp. 29-48 Chapter 3: Toward Liberation pp. 49-69 Chapter 4: Stonewall and Beyond pp. 70-99
  • 6. WEEK #5 Tuesday, February 11 Politics Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Class Discussion of Readings, Thursday, February 13 Media WEEK #6 Tuesday, February 18 Politics Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Class Discussion of Readings, Thursday, February 20 Media WEEK #7 Tuesday, February 25 Politics Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Class Discussion of Readings, Thursday, February 27 Media Chapter 5: Mature, Nurture, and Identity pp. 101-129 Chapter 6: Inclusion and Equality pp. 130-152 Chapter 7: Queer Diversities pp. 153-176 WEEK #8 Politics Chapter 8: Intersectionalities Tuesday, March 04 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, March 06 EXAM 2 IN CLASS (covers pp. 101-207) WEEK #9 Tuesday, March 11 SPRING BREAK No Class SPRING BREAK No Readings Thursday, March 13 No Class No Readings WEEK #10 Literature and the Arts Chapter 9: Homosexed Art and Literature Tuesday, March 18 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, March 20 Class Discussion of Readings, Media 6 pp. 177-207 pp. 209-236
  • 7. Chapter 10: Lesbian Pulp Novels and Gay Physique Pictorials WEEK #11 Literature and the Arts Tuesday, March 25 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, March 27 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #12 Tuesday, April 01 Thursday, April 03 WEEK #13 Tuesday, April 08 Thursday, April 10 WEEK #14 Tuesday, April 15 Literature and the Arts Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Class Discussion of Readings, Media Literature and the Arts Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities EXAM 3 IN CLASS (covers pp. 209-299) Media Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, April 17 Class Discussion of Readings, Media WEEK #15 Media Tuesday, April 22 Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities Thursday, April 24 Class Discussion of Readings, Media pp. 237-256 Chapter 11: Queer Transgressions pp. 257-277 Chapter 12: Censorship and Moral Panic pp. 278-299 Chapter 13: Film and Television pp. 301-326 Chapter 14: Queers and the Internet 7 pp. 327-349
  • 8. WEEK #16 Tuesday, April 29 Thursday, May 01 FINAL EXAM Tuesday, May 06 2:45-4:45pm Media Class Discussion of Readings, Group Activities GROUP PROJECT PRESENTATIONS Chapter 15: The Politics of Location pp. 350-376 EXAM 4 SWZ 119 Covers pp. 301-376 8