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U.S. Gay and Lesbian History

This course examines the social, cultural, and political history of same-sex desiring individuals in the United States, with particular emphasis on the last century and a half (for reasons we will take up in the course itself).  Major topics include the construction and deployment of sexuality as an important category of experience; the changing organization and meaning of same-sex spaces, friendships, and eroticism; the growth of lesbian and gay communities or sub-cultures and the persistence of racial, class, gender, and even generational differences within and among them; and the politics of everyday life for lesbians and gay men before and after the emergence of the gay and feminist movements, the AIDS crisis, and the decades-long debates over lesbian and gay service in the armed forces and the legality of same-sex marriage.