Critical Issues in Queer Theory (920Q3A)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

Queer theory and/or queer studies, which first emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, brings poststructuralist epistemologies and radical political sensibilities to the social, cultural, and historical study of sexuality – and, indeed, the study of eroticism, relationality, and kinship more broadly.

This module provides you with the opportunity to gain an overview of key concepts and debates in queer theory and to read important queer theoretical texts in depth. We will discuss some foundational texts in queer theory and will explore some of the intellectual, social, cultural, and political contexts from which queer theory emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

We will also explore a selection of key issues and approaches in contemporary queer studies, which might include:

  • transgender theories
  • affect studies
  • transnational contexts
  • theorisations of contemporary neoliberalism.

Throughout this module you will work to build up a theoretical foundation that will allow you to attend in nuanced and informed ways to the politics of sexuality, relationship, and kinship as these politics are manifested and remade in texts and other cultural artefacts.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 24 hours of contact time and about 276 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: