Lesbian and Gay History

Lori Ginzberg Hist 466/WS 466

410 Weaver Spring 2005

863-8947 LDG1@psu.edu

Office hours: Wednesday, 9-11

This course will explore both “classic” and more recent writings on the history of sexuality, focusing on the experiences, ideas, and conflicts that have shaped modern gay and lesbian identities. It will explore such questions as: What is the lesbian and gay past? How have historians recovered the stories of lesbians and gay men who lived in societies and eras vastly different from our own? What can we learn from history about gender and sexuality, repression and resistance, deviance and acceptance, identity and community? We will use films, primary and secondary readings, discussions, and written assignments to to begin to answer these and other questions.

The success of this course depends on everyone’s informed presence. Therefore, attendance and active participation in class will be a major part of your grade.

Class meets on Tuesdays, from 4:15-6:45 in 208 Willard. Please be prompt.

The following books are available at the Student Bookstore.

George Chauncey, Gay New York

Martin Duberman, Martha Vicinus, George Chauncey, Hidden from History

Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues

Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness

Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Rereading Sex

Kathy Peiss, Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality

Written Requirements

In addition to expanding our knowledge of lesbian and gay history, this course will stress critical reading, research, and writing skills. The following are the assignments for undergraduate and graduate students

I: UNDERGRADUATES

Each undergraduate student will write six 2-3 page response essays on a particular week’s readings, a response to a graduate student’s rough draft, plus a 6-8-page review essay in lesbian and gay history (due the Tuesday of finals week). The due dates for the papers are marked with a # sign below.

II: GRADUATE STUDENTS

Each graduate student will do a research paper. Over the course of the semester each of you will develop a research goal, use primary and secondary sources, receive comments on a rough draft, present your findings at a final conference, and submit a paper of 20-25 pages. The following schedule will be strictly observed:

1. Consultation with me on your research idea by February 2

2. A typed proposal, including the central questions, a plan for research, and a preliminary bibliography, due February 22

3. A rough draft of the paper, due March 29

4. Presentations at our final conference on April 26.

5. A final draft (due the Tuesday of finals week)

Grades will be based half on class participation and half on the written assignments. Late assignments will be graded down.

You must complete all the work to pass the course.

Note: The course is far from comprehensive in scope. For additional readings you might look to the unassigned articles in Hidden from History or Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality. Interested students should also become familiar with Gay Community News, off our backs, Out/Look, Philadelphia Gay News, The Advocate, Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and Our Friends. For more scholarly articles I recommend Signs, Feminist Studies, Journal of the History of Sexuality, The Journal of Homosexuality, and Women’s Studies Quarterly.

SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND CLASSES:

Jan. 11: INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

FILM: “BEFORE STONEWALL”

Jan. 18: WHAT IS LESBIAN AND GAY HISTORY?

“Introduction,” Hidden from History, 1-13

Jeffrey Weeks, “The Social Construction of Sexuality,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 2-9

Rictor Norton, “Essentialism and Queer History,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 10-16

John Boswell, “Revolutions, Universals, & Sexual Categories,” Hidden from History, 17-36

David Halperin, “Sex Before Sexuality: Pederasty, Politics, and Power in Ancient Athens,” Hidden from History, 37-53

Jan. 25: PREINDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES

Paper #1 due

Kathleen Brown, “’Changed … into the Fashion of Man,’” in Peiss, Major Problems, 80-92

Richard Godbeer, “Sodomy in Colonial New England,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 92-105

Randolph Trumbach, “The Birth of the Queen,” Hidden from History, 129-140

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 70-80

Feb. 1: THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: SEX AND DOMESTICITY

Nancy Cott, “Passionlessness,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 131-141

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, “The Female World of Love and Ritual,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 201-214

Karen Hansen, “An Erotic Friendship Between Two African-American Women,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 214-228

Martin Duberman, “‘Writhing Bedfellows,” Hidden from History, 153-168

Feb. 8: THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: NEW READINGS

Paper #2 due.

Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Rereading Sex

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 109-17, 188-93

Feb. 15: THE NINETEENTH CENTURY: REDEFINITIONS

Martha Vicinus, “Distance and Desire,” Hidden from History, 212-229

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, “Discourses of Sexuality & Subjectivity,” Hidden from History, 264-80

Jonathan Ned Katz, “The Invention of Heterosexuality,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 348-356

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 194-201, 338-48

Feb. 22: THE MAKING OF A GAY MALE WORLD

Paper # 3 due

George Chauncey, Gay New York

GRADUATE STUDENTS’ PROPOSALS DUE

MAR. 1: “WILLFUL WOMEN”: ROLES, REPRESSION, AND REBELLION

Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness

Esther Newton, “The Mythic, Mannish Lesbian,” Hidden from History, 281-293

Mar. 8: SPRING BREAK

Mar. 15: ODD GIRLS AND TWILIGHT LOVERS

Paper #4 due.

Leila Rupp, “’Imagine My Surprise’: Women’s Relationships in Mid-Twentieth-Century America,” Hidden from History, 395-410

Shari Benstock, “Paris Lesbianism and the Politics of Reaction,” Hidden from History, 332-346

Estelle Freedman, “Miriam Van Waters and the Burning of Letters” (to be distributed)

Mar. 22: WORLD WAR II AND WARS AT HOME

Allan Berube, “Marching to a Different Drummer,” Hidden from History, 383-394

Erwin Haeberle, “Swastika, Pink Triangle, and Yellow Star,” Hidden from History, 365-382

David Harley Serlin, “Christine Jorgensen and the Cold War Closet,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 384-393

Jeffrey Escofier, “Popular Sociology, Reading, and Coming Out,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 393-403

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 368-381

FILM: “COMING OUT UNDER FIRE”

Mar. 29: WOMEN’S LIBERATION, GAY LIBERATION, AND IDENTITY

Paper #5 due.

Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues

Davis and Kennedy, “Oral History and the Study of Sexuality in the Lesbian Community,” Hidden from History, 426-440

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 381-84, 406-422

GRADUATE STUDENTS’ DRAFTS DUE

Apr. 5: GAY COMMUNITIES, GAY POLITICS

John D’Emilio, “Gay Politics and Community in San Francisco Since WW2,” Hidden from History, 456-476

Marc Stein, ”Sex Politics in the City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 431-443

David Allyn, “Fomenting a Sexual Revolution,” in Peiss, Major Problems, 423-444

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 406-422

FILM: “THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK”

Apr. 12: THE REAGAN ERA: SEXUAL MINORITIES

Comments on graduate student’s draft due.

Ronald Bayer, “AIDS and the Bathhouse Controversy,” Peiss, Major Problems, 471-483

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 446-460

Find one article from the 1980s about an issue in lesbian and gay life.

Apr. 19: THE 1990S AND BEYOND: BACKLASH AND ASSIMILATION

Paper # 6 due.

Kath Weston, “Gay Families as the ‘Families we Choose,’” Peiss, Major Problems, 497-505

Tomás Almaguer, “Chicano Men, a Cartography of Homosexual Identity and Behavior,” Peiss, Major Problems, 506-515

Documents: Peiss, Major Problems, 485-492

Find two articles that reflect “backlash” and “assimilation” in recent years. Paper #6 will use these articles and last week’s.

Apr. 26: FINAL CONFERENCE

If you have appropriate syllabi, please contact CLGH chair Karen Krahulik at Karen_Krahulik@brown.edu.