Bucks County Community College is introducing a new course this fall, Introduction to Queer Studies, which will explore the historical and contemporary ways that gender and sexuality have been regulated by cultural norms and societal institutions.
The course will examine how homophobia and transphobia are inextricably linked to racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, all while analyzing lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and queer – or LGBTQ+ – political movements.
Max Probst, the associate professor of sociology who proposed the experimental course, said that over more than a decade of teaching at Bucks, he noticed that students have been really engaged in topics around LGBTQ+ issues.
“I wanted to offer students the opportunity to study these issues in-depth, and learn about queer studies and theories,” said Probst. “We will examine the political movements that fought for marriage equality, transgender healthcare rights, adoption rights, anti-bullying legislation, hate crime legislation, and legislation related to LGBTQ+ people in the military, and much more.”
The three-credit course will meet online remotely every Thursday, from 1:40 to 4:10 p.m., for 15 weeks starting Aug. 27. It will be run as a seminar with student-led discussions and presentations, according to Probst, and there is no required textbook – students will have free and open access to classical and contemporary readings in queer theory and queer studies.
Probst, who has a bachelor’s degree in Women & Gender Studies, a master’s in Sociology & Diversity Studies, and a master’s in Social Work, said this is an important topic for anyone to learn about in 2020.
“We have seen many strides for equality for people in the LGBTQ+ community, but we still have a long way to go,” he said. “By studying the past and present, we can learn how to address what happens in the future.”