Accessibility Navigation:

Course Detail

Sex Radicals!


When we think about queer and feminist politics, we typically think of the processes by which women and LGBT people have effected change through legislation, court cases, and supporting candidates friendly to their causes. But much U.S. queer and feminist thought and activism has taken root outside the bounds of liberal electoral politics. This course centers on the fringes. It surveys the writings of less-palatable political actors: punks, anarchists, communists, anti-capitalists, sex workers, black radicals, and prison abolitionists. In exploring these political genealogies, we will ask: How does the personal constitute the political? What counts as (legitimate) political action according to whom? (How) can social change be effected outside of electoral politics and state institutions? What should be the role of the state in regulating labor and distributing rights and entitlements? What priorities have animated the various radical traditions within queer and feminist thought, and how have they addressed or failed to address race, class, ethnicity, and disability? How have these traditions intersected and diverged? Why have contemporary queer radicals come to focus on issues less obviously connected to gender and sexuality like global capitalism, drone warfare, and police militarization?


Satisfies a requirement for the Gender and Sexuality Studies major and minor. Satisfies a Social-Scientific Thought requirement.
Satisfies a cultural diversity requirement.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.