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Language & Sexuality

An exploration of the ways in which language is used to construct, negotiate, present, and conceal sexual identity and orientation, focusing on the language of and about gay men and lesbians. Topics include identity categories and labels, ‘reclaimed epithets’ (e.g. dyke and queer), gender vs. sex vs. sexuality, language and desire, coming-out stories, LGBTQ2 language, and cross-cultural constructions of sexuality. Students will be expected to read and discuss several articles and text chapters each week, and will be evaluated on a combination of class participation, reaction papers, a language journal, and a final project/paper.