Contemporary Queer Cinemas


University of Pittsburgh

Summer 2011

Course website + syllabus

This hybrid community and campus Public Humanities project offers an introduction to contemporary queer cinemas, focusing on several key genres, directors, and themes in transnational queer film cultures and scholarship. We will explore constructions of sexuality, gender, class, race, and nation in an attempt to understand the stakes that various institutions have in such constructions. This project will bring together local Pittsburgh community members, students, filmmakers, and artists who are interested in how imaging technologies are used to construct bodies, paying particular attention to the role of queer publics in such a process. We will explore how transnational queer cinemas can both participate in and critique hegemonic ideologies of sexuality, imperialism, race, gender, politics, and community.

Topics will include: New Queer Cinema, film noir, local Pittsburgh filmmaking, transgender cinemas, digital media and music videos, the queerness of vampires, video art, neoliberalism and state violence, queer diasporic cinemas, techno-queer utopias, citizenship, occupation, and war.

A Note on the “Public” Part of the Project:
This course is part of a Public Humanities cinema project with 4 components: this course for University of Pittsburgh students, a public film series, a public speaker series, and a community digital media endeavor (this blog). This interdisciplinary project emphasizes the multiple contexts in which we learn and teach each other in ways that include but are not reducible to university spaces or titles. As such, the film screenings, speaker events, and blog are all open to the public. We will be talking a lot about the concept of “the public” and the role that movies have played in the development of that concept—“public” then is both a description of the project, and an object of critical inquiry for the project as a whole.