This assignment is a synthesis of the course, and will require you to look through the syllabus, website, notes from class, written work and readings in order to come
up with an explanation/summary/”story” of the course, and your place in it. (Note that if you take any info from the website or syllabus, you should cite it!) At its
most basic level, this assignment should show me what you have learned this semester. It should be as personal and detailed as possible, and you are free to be
creative! (In the past I have had students create a mini-zine, scrapbook, or long poem).
The assignment has two parts, which should be roughly a page each if you complete it as an essay. If you go over 2 pages, that is okay. You don’t need to answer each
individual question below–they are to help you think about the story of the course, and your place in it:
1) Story of the Course: look at the syllabus, the class website, notes from class, your free-writes, class texts, and explore what you see as the overview of the
course. Together, what was the course about? What is “Intro to LGBT Studies”? How was it organized? How was it set up in terms of discussion/class time? How did the
assignments build on each other, and relate to the readings? Looking back over the semester, how does it all come together? If you were talking to someone else about
the class, what would you tell them it was about?
(2) Now, put yourself into this story. What was the class like for you? What was your part in the story of the course? What did you learn about yourself, the class,
gender and sexuality? How did your thinking change over time? What was your role in the classroom? How did you respond and interact with others? In other words, what
was the journey over the semester like for you?
NUTS AND BOLTS/What I am looking for:
*2-4 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font, Times New Roman (or something similar)
*Includes story of the course, and your place in that story
*shows your ability to summarize the semester, while including details and avoiding generalizations
*draws on class notes, readings, syllabus–show me that you are able to connect what you learned to specific readings, authors, and class discussion.
*concise, clear, detailed, and organized writing
Teacher’s Syllabus (has the information of what the readings are called to find on google to read and write some information about):
This interdisciplinary course explores historical, cultural, personal, and political aspects of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Using
sources from a variety of disciplines and fields including biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, queer theory and women’s studies students will learn about
lgbtq identities and the many social movements which have contributed to lgbtq visibility and civil rights.
The course will meet two times a week for a discussion-based class. Students will be expected to come to class prepared to participate in discussion. Additional
readings, grades and assignments will be posted on Canvas.
Please visit me during my office hours, as I would love to learn more about what you are thinking and learning, as well as how your work is progressing! Be sure to let
me know during office hours or after class if you need any help, or any special accommodations, the sooner the better. Students with disabilities or who need time from
class to observe religious holidays, please contact me ASAP to make any arrangements necessary. If you will miss class due to religious observances, please let me know
by February 9th.
By the end of the semester students will have
• an understanding of the social construction of gender and sexuality and how these categories intersect with race, class, and ability
• basic knowledge of the histories of various lgbtq communities, activist groups and social movements.
• preliminary understanding of LGBTQ studies as a site for activism
• understand the historical and political contexts of the fight for marriage equality, AIDS activism and transgender non-discrimination laws
About Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies at the University of Maryland:
The Department of Women’s Studies, in the College of Arts and Humanities, offers an undergraduate certificate and minor in LGBT Studies, in addition to the B.A. and
undergraduate certificate in Women’s Studies and a joint minor in Black Women’s Studies (with African American Studies). The certificate in LGBT Studies is a 21-credit
interdisciplinary course of study comprised of 15 required and 6 elective credits designed to complement any student’s major field of study. The minor in LGBT Studies
is a 15-credit interdisciplinary course of study comprised of 12 required and 3 elective credits.
We encourage current UMD undergraduates interested in any of these five programs of study to contact the Department of Women’s Studies. Women’s Studies provides
excellent preparation for a variety of humanities and social science graduate programs, as well as professional schools. I am happy to speak to anyone who wants to
discuss these different options for study. You might also wish to talk with the Women’s Studies/LGBT Studies Academic Advisor, JV Sapinoso (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please purchase the texts below in print or e-book form, or rent/borrow them. (We will not read 100 percent of this text–it is acceptable to photocopy/share the book)
Bechdel, Alison. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0618968800
Additional readings will all be uploaded onto the Canvas Site or found through umaryland.worldcat.org.
How the course will be organized
We will meet two times a week for a discussion-based class. In order to have a productive learning environment students need to come to class having read the material,
and be prepared to talk and share with others. Creating a community of learning means that we must be respectful of each other and create a space where each member of
the class feels comfortable about sharing their thoughts. This does not mean that we will always agree, and in fact we may often disagree with each other, but we must
always be open to hearing each other and treating each other kindly and with respect. This course is unique because there is always a mix of students—some who already
have some knowledge about LGBTQ identities and communities, and others who don’t know anything, but who are here to learn. Together we can create a learning community
where dialogue is encouraged, we understand that mistakes happen, and that communication and understanding can be difficult across differences. Learning means taking
risks, trying new things, playing around, guessing at times, and recognizing that sometimes we won’t get it right the first time.
Communication for the Course
ELMS/Canvas : You will find course readings, and the syllabus on Canvas (elms.umd.edu). All assignments will be uploaded to Canvas unless otherwise specified, and I
will use ELMS announcements and the message center to contact the class. You can also use Canvas to message me, or email me directly at email@example.com.
Please set your ELMS notifications so that you get an email when I send out any class announcements, as I will use these to keep you informed about changes to the
syllabus or in the case of weather-delays. Also be sure to check your email every few days, and to have the correct email listed on testudo. These are class
If you have any difficulties getting access to these resources (email/canvas) come and talk to me as soon as possible. To get help go to OIT’s Help Desk at the
Computer and Space Sciences Building, Rm. 1400, or checkout the help desk webpage at: http://www.helpdesk.umd.edu/
Email: Faculty and advisors use email to convey important information, and students are responsible for keeping their email address up to date, and must ensure that
forwarding to another address functions properly. Failure to check email, errors in forwarding, and returned email are the responsibility of the student, and do not
constitute an excuse for missing announcements or deadlines.
In your emails to me, please be sure to include LGBT 200, [your name], [topic of email] in the subject line. I receive a lot of email and without adequate subject
headings your email may get lost in my inbox and/or will not sort to the correct folder. I am not responsible for emails getting lost if they are incorrectly labeled.
Also, please don’t start an email with “hey.” You are not writing to a close friend. Dear Jessica, Dr. Vooris or Good morning/ Hello/Hi/Good afternoon are more
professional and respectful. I will attempt to answer all emails within 24 hours, although this may not be feasible at particularly busy times of the semester.
While laptops can be useful for taking notes, looking up information on google, or referring to the readings, they are also a source of distraction. It may be worth
noting that recent studies shows that students learn more when taking notes by hand, rather than through electronic means. Other studies have shown that a student who
chooses to dis-engage with class via facebook, etc, will also distract and affect the learning of other students. I encourage you to print out your readings, or take
copious hand-written notes.
However, given that most of your readings are electronic, and not all of you have access to a printer, I will permit laptops/tablets in class. However, this is a
privilege, not a right, and I reserve the right to change this policy at any-time. It will be up to you to show that you are engaged with class discussion.
10 % Class Discussion/Attendance
5 % Active Engagement Points
15% Reading Responses
20% Personal Reflection Essay
20 % Historic Research Project (Group Project)
20% Activist Manifesto/Letter
10% Learning Analysis
“The student-administered Honor Code and Honor Pledge prohibits students from cheating on exams, plagiarizing papers, submitting the same paper for credit in two
courses without authorization, buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents and forging signatures.” (see http://faculty.umd.edu/teach/integrity.html).
If you are unsure of how to properly cite your information and how to avoid plagiarism please refer to online guides on MLA, APA and Chicago Style formatting. I do not
have a preference for which one you use, but please pick one and use that consistently throughout an assignment. If you still need help with citations, please set up
an appointment to meet with me.
A work is excellent, unusually creative and/or analytically striking
B is fine work of high quality, though not as skilled, ambitious, or carefully presented as A
C is average or usual work fulfilling the assignment; should not be hasty, or insufficiently collaborated
D work is below average or incomplete; shows many difficulties or cannot follow instructions
F work is not sufficient to pass; unwillingness to do the work, or so many difficulties unable to complete
I will explain in more detail what the expectations are for each assignment in the handouts and on Canvas.
A 94 – 100% A- 90 – 93%
B+ 87 – 89% B 83 – 86% B- 80 – 82%
C+ 77 – 79% C 73 – 76% C- 70 – 72%
D+ 67 – 69% D 63 – 66% D- 60 – 62%
10% Class Participation: This is a discussion-based course, and your participation is important. You are expected to come to class having read and taken notes on the
material, and to be ready to discuss the material. The success of the class will depend on everyone sharing their ideas and perspectives. If you are someone who has a
hard time speaking up in class, note that you can show that you are actively participating through your listening, your reactions to what your classmates are saying,
and your note-taking. Please visit me in my office hours if you are concerned about your participation due to anxiety, neurodivergence, or any other reason.
If you are not in class, you cannot receive participation points. Likewise, if you are in class, but are asleep or otherwise not paying attention, you will not receive
participation points. I understand that people get sick, family emergencies happen, or you have an unforeseen circumstance that prevents your attendance. You may have
one unexcused absence during the course of the semester, otherwise, I follow the university guidelines for “excused absences.” In case of any absence you are
responsible for the work that you have missed. Check your syllabus and connect up with classmates for notes and any information you need to know. Please do not email
me asking what you missed, unless you have already talked to a classmate and still have questions.
5% Active Engagement Points: These are gained through a variety of ways—turning in your info sheet, coming to talk with me during my office hours, attending optional
events on campus, submitting an extra reading response, writing a short review of a book, blog, or youtube video, or posting on the class discussion board. See ELMS
for more details.
15 % Reading Responses: Throughout the semester you will be required to turn in 3 reading responses. You can decide which day you complete the reading response, but
you must submit one for the month of February, one for the month of March and one for the month of April. These must be uploaded to ELMS the day the reading is due,
BEFORE the start of class. You have the option of completing the assignment in written form, audio/video form, or in a visual/artistic form, as long as it fulfills the
reading response requirements. See ELMS for a full description of the assignment.
20% Personal Reflection Essay: Drawing from texts that we have read so far on gender, and sexuality, you will pick a moment in your childhood to analyze. If you do not
want to share a personal memory or story, you may choose a passage from a book or another type of media. If you choose this option, please verify with me what you will
focus on. You do not have to identify as LGBTQ to write about YOUR experiences of gender/sexuality. Please do not write about a friend/family member’s gender and
sexuality unless you discuss with me how this is related to YOUR gender/sexuality. 3-4 pages. More assignment details on ELMS. Due, Sunday, March 5th at 5 pm.
20% Historical Research Project: In groups of 4-6 you will choose a historical object/event/group/person to research, and will create something (a
book/zine/video/podcast/theatre play) to share what you have discovered with the rest of the class. Each group will choose ONE subject from a list provided by me. If
you want to research something not on the list, you must check with me first. Presentations due: April 4th and 6th. Final assignment due, Sunday, April 9th by 5 pm.
20% Manifesto/Activist Letter: This assignment will allow you to choose something that you care about from all of the different LGBTQ rights/issues that we have
covered in class and write a letter to someone explaining the issue and what can be done to create change. Due May 11th at 9:30 am. (LAST DAY OF CLASS, before the
start of class)
10% Learning Analysis: 2 page analysis of what you learned over the course of the semester, key concepts/texts, what your specific journey/experience was. Due May 15th
at 10 am.
University Absence Policy:
Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Consistent attendance offers students the most effective opportunity to gain command of course concepts and
materials. Events that justify an excused absence include: religious observances; mandatory military obligation; illness of the student or illness of an immediate
family member; participation in university activities at the request of university authorities; and compelling circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g., death
in the family, required court appearance). Absences stemming from work duties other than military obligation (e.g., unexpected changes in shift assignments) and
traffic/transit problems do not typically qualify for excused absence.
Students claiming an excused absence must notify the course instructor in a timely manner and provide appropriate documentation. The notification should be provided
either prior to the absence or as soon afterwards as possible. In the case of religious observances, athletic events, and planned absences known at the beginning of
the semester, the student must inform the instructor during the schedule adjustment period. All other absences must be reported as soon as is practical. The student
must provide appropriate documentation (doctor’s note for example) of the absence through email or in person in class.
In the case of delays or cancellations due to weather or another campus emergency I will communicate with students through email and ELMS to discuss updated class
plans or to post alternative assignments online.
As per university policy, the first 5 students on the waitlist are given access to ELMS. If you are on the waitlist, I encourage you to attend class and do the
readings, as this will ensure that you do not fall behind. Unfortunately, this does NOT guarantee you admittance to the class, and if you are not released from the
waitlist, you will not be able to continue attending class the rest of the semester. If you choose not to attend class while on the waitlist and then are admitted, you
will not be penalized for missing class, but you WILL be responsible for catching up on the readings, getting lecture notes from your classmates, and turning in any
Course Outline *Instructor reserves the right to change course outline at any time, with prior warning. An updated syllabus will be maintained on ELMS*
Week One-Introduction to Class
Thursday, January 26th
-“How to Read” and “Listening” (handed out in class)
-get to know you activities
Week Two-Gender and Sexuality
Tuesday, January 31st
-The Gender Book (ELMS)
-Anne Fausto-Sterling Chapters 1-4 (ELMS)
-Dean Spade’s “Purportedly Gendered Body Parts” (ELMS)
Recommended: Emily Martin’s “Egg and Sperm” article (ELMS)
Thursday, February 2nd
Hanne Blank— Straight, Chapter One (ELMS)
INFO SHEETS DUE
Recommended: Hanne Blank Intro
Week Three-Gay and Lesbian Identities and Homophobia
Tuesday, February 7th
-Jewelle Gomez “Silence is Costly” (ELMS)
-CJ Pascoe “Dude, You’re a Fag” (ELMS)
Recommended: Suzanne Pharr “Homophobia, A Weapon of Sexism” (ELMS)
Thursday, February 9th
Required: intro, 17-27, 50, 55, 56, 78, 79, 81, 91, 92, 113, 114, 123, 147-149, 155, 157-168,
Recommended: read as much as you can/want of 1-184.
Specific pages I would recommend: 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, 27, 37, 74, 90, 94, 95, 96, 109, 124.
Alison Bechdel’s website is a useful resource for remembering characters
Week Four-Bisexuality and Pansexuality
Tuesday, February 14th
– Notes from a Bi Revolution, Eisner (ELMS) (Note this is a LONG reading, so give yourself time to complete it all)
Recommended: Bisexual vs. Pansexual (Links to an external site.)(online), Eisner Chapter Two
Thursday, February 16th
DTWOF: 184, 188, 191, 192, 194, 197-199, 207, 216, 218, 223
Week Five- Transgender Identities
Tuesday, February 21st
Chapter Two from Susan Stryker’s “Transgender History” (ELMS)
Redefining Realness excerpts (ELMS)
Navigating Masculinity as a Black Trans Man (Links to an external site.) (online)
In class: Laverne Cox speech.
Thursday, February 23rd
Julia Serano “Dismantling Cisgender Privilege” (ELMS)
DTWOF: 125, 126, 230
In class: TransGirlNextDoor: http://transgirlnextdoor.tumblr.com/
If you want a pre-view of her work:
That Damn Tuck: http://transgirlnextdoor.tumblr.com/post/102411924984
Problematic Men: http://transgirlnextdoor.tumblr.com/post/99672717489
Recommended: Mutilating Gender by Dean Spade (ELMS)
Week Six- Queer, Two-Spirit and Asexual Identities
Tuesday, February 28th
Two-Spirit and Queer Videos (first four of the playlist are required, others recommended) (Links to an external site.)
Recommended: Janet Mock’s Chapter 8 (ELMS), and “On Queer Privilege” (Links to an external site.)(online)
In class: Group Speed-dating Activity
Thursday, March 2nd
– 5 Myths about Asexuality (Links to an external site.) (online)
– Aven website (Links to an external site.) (online) Please read the Welcome page, and “Overview” and “General FAQ” under the About Asexuality tab.
Gender and Sexuality Reflection Due Sunday, March 5th at 5 pm.
Week Seven- Gay and Lesbian Histories
Tuesday, March 7th
-Finding Out, chapters one and two (readings section optional) (ELMS)
Thursday, March 9th
– Faderman, Butches/Femmes/Kiki’s (ELMS)
-In class excerpt from Stone Butch Blues (read aloud)
Week Eight –Stonewall and Beyond
Tuesday, March 14th
-Finding Out Chapters 3 and 4 (ELMS)
-Transgender History Chapter 3 (ELMS)
Thursday, March 16th
-Mia McKenzie “Resistance is the Secret of Queer Joy”
-lesbian separatist article (TBD)
Week Nine-SPRING BREAK-
Week Ten-AIDS and ACT-UP *content warning for graphic depictions of death and illness*
Tuesday, March 28th
-Reed’s ACT-UP chapter from The Art of Protest (ELMS)
– Queer America Chapter 7 “From Carter to Reagan” and “The Challenge of AIDS” (elms)
Recommended: Attend the presentation by Dr. Salvador Vidal-Oritz who will discuss
The Feminist Racial Justice Project of Queer Brown Voices. March 28, 2017, 12-1:30 pm. Maryland Room, Marie Mount Hall. (This would count for an Active Engagement
Thursday, March 30th
– Watch for class “The Normal Heart” (optional class screening Wed March 29th at 7pm in Talliaferro 0135, the WMST multimedia studio)
-Read excerpts from Ron Mohring’s “Survivable World” (ELMS)
Week Eleven- History Projects Due
Tuesday, April 4th
No Class—time to do last-minute preparations on projects
Thursday, April 6th
Final projects due on ELMS: Sunday, April 9th at 5 pm.
Week Twelve – Queer Cultural Production
Tuesday, April 11th
NO CLASS—mandatory event Wednesday night—read the following in prep:
-Audre Lorde’s Silence Into Action (ELMS)
-A Queer Musician’s Guide to Being Heard by Be Steadwell (Links to an external site.) (online)
MANDATORY: Wednesday, April 12th –BE STEADWELL’s campus visit. (evening)
Thursday, April 13th
-discussion about Be’s visit, Audre Lorde’s reading
Week Thirteen-Drag Culture and Beyond Gay Marriage
Tuesday, April 18th
Drag Readings TBD, DTWOF
Thursday, April 20th
-Calling in a Queer Debt by Mia McKenzie (ELMS)
-Queer Kids Against Queer Marriage (ELMS)
Recommended: Their Laws Will Not Make Us Safer—Dean Spade (ELMS)
Recommended: Friday, April 21st —The Queer Studies Symposium, all day, Tawes Hall.
Week Fourteen- Black Lives Matter and Orlando *content note: violence/murder*
Tuesday, April 25th
Watch: Tongues Untied (Netflix) (Optional class screening Sunday, April 23rdth at 7 pm, WMST multimedia Studio)
A Herstory of Black Lives Matter, (Links to an external site.)(online)
Why Black Lives Should Matter to All LGBTQ People (Links to an external site.)(online)
Mia McKenzie’s “To the Black Queer Kids” (ELMS)
Thursday, April 27th
A Queer Muslim Response to the Shooting, (Links to an external site.)(online)
What 14 LGBTQ Activists Want You to Know (Links to an external site.) (online)
Latinx Queer and Trans Activists Explain the Shooting (Links to an external site.)(online video)
Week Fifteen- The Body and Mind
Tuesday, May 2nd
-Eli Clare’s “The Marrow’s Telling” poems (ELMS)
– Eli Clare’s disability and queerness essay (ELMS) (content note: mentions sexual assault, violence against women, people of color, trans folks)
Thursday, May 4th
Unalterable (Links to an external site.) (online) (The first link goes to this article published on Autostraddle–I would recommend this because you can also read the
comments). (It is also published on Everyday Feminism here (Links to an external site.), and the text is in smaller chunks which may make it easier to read for some
Autistic and Queer (Links to an external site.) (online) (Note that Lydia–who is featured here uses “they” pronouns, not “she/her”)
Recommended: “The Talk” (Links to an external site.)(About an autistic individual’s experience of the body and intimacy)
Week Sixteen—LGBTQ Children
Podcast “How to Be A Girl” (Episode to be announced)
Excerpt DTWOF: 282, 306, 312, 316, 320, 351
A Message From a Ten-Year Old Lesbian, “In Her Own Words” (Links to an external site.)
Recommended: “Stop Waiting For My Gay Son to Change” (Links to an external site.) –Amelia (whose son came out at age 7). Raising My Rainbow blog (online): “Trust Your
Mama Gut” (Links to an external site.)