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Moral Panics and LGBTQ Politics

This seminar explores moral panics about LGBTQ identities and communities. After briefly reviewing some twentieth-century moral/sex panics around what are now called queer and trans people, we will investigate current paroxysms of anti-LGBTQ activity in the United States and globally, including: recent laws passed in the United States including those banning books, drag, gender-affirming care, and participation in sports; Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act; Russia’ anti-gay propaganda law. Seminar topics will include discourses of pathologization and contagion, legacies of colonialism, and the anti-gender ideology movement. Readings will explore the political economy underlying homophobia and transphobia, connections and disconnections with women’s movements, and strategies of resistance. An exploration of pedagogical practices related to teaching LGBTQ studies, recent trends in queer and trans studies, and questions concerning approaches to empirical research will be woven into the seminar’s objectives.. This interdisciplinary seminar welcomes those who teach or write about sexuality and trans studies as well as those who wish to know more about these topics.

Seminar Schedule. Seminars run Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a midday communal lunch. Seminar conveners may adjust the class schedule in response to participant needs. Special events may also be held during the week. Participants are required to attend the full week of seminar meetings and maintain 90% attendance overall.

Seminar Materials. Eligible participants are provided with all required seminar materials (books, articles, laboratory equipment, and entrance fees).

Accommodations & Meals. Limited housing accommodations are provided to participants who live more than 50 miles from the program site. All admitted participants are provided with some meals during the program period.

Application Procedure. Applicants should submit the completed application along with all of the following:

  • A statement of intent that indicates how the seminar participant will apply what is learned at the home institution
  • A current CV
  • A letter of support from either the division dean or department head, who is well-acquainted with the applicant’s area of research
  • Their institutional liaison officer’s approval