Queering Popular Culture (807P4B)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module offers you the chance to explore lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer contributions to, and perspectives on, the key fields of popular culture, including film, television, the press, popular music, fashion and style. Topics for detailed study will include:

  • lesbian representation in mainstream television genres
  • cinematic homosexualities and their historical context
  • lesbian and gay 'community television'
  • contemporary lesbian and gay magazines and newspapers
  • queer pop from David Bowie to the Pet Shop Boys and beyond
  • sexuality and style politics
  • the pleasures and problematics of camp.

You will investigate issues of representation, consumption and interpretation; unravel debates over stereotyping, subcultures and sensibilities; and ask whether a specifically 'queered' critique of the existing academic discourses used in the study of popular culture is conceptually feasible and/or politically desirable. You can expect to sharpen and deepen your skills in interdisciplinary cultural analysis, and there will be a particular emphasis on a self-reflexive examination of (y)our own popular cultural tastes and practices, exploring the connections and contradictions between theoretical accounts of popular images and forms and our experiential investments in them as consumers located in (or interested in) sexual minorities.

The approach on this module is unrepentantly interdisciplinary – there is no overarching theoretical model to which you will be obliged to subscribe. Students with or without backgrounds in cultural studies will be made equally welcome.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 278 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.