Course Shines a Light on Queer Cinema

In celebration of National LGBTQ+ History Month, we are shining a spotlight on MDJ’s Queer Cinema course taught by Assistant Professor of Media and Journalism and Communication Studies, Dr. Karisa Butler-Wall. The course focuses on queer filmmaking and spectatorship as a critical practice that reflects shifting understandings of gender and sexual nonnormatively across space and time.  

“From classical Hollywood cinema to contemporary independent and documentary filmmaking, this class examines how particular historical and cultural moments, geographical spaces, and political contexts have shaped the conditions for representations of queerness on screen,” Butler-Wall says.  

The course allows students the chance to learn to critically analyze and discuss queer films from a queer theoretical point of view. They focus on how gender and sexuality intersect with other categories of power including race, class, and citizenship. Some films highlighted in the course are The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Two Spirits (2010), and Moonlight (2016).  

Butler-Wall says that Queer Cinema allows students to actively engage with questions of identity, representation, performance, and activism from an interceptional perspective.  

“Film is one of the most impactful mediums that has the power to shape our understandings of identity and culture, and for marginalized populations it can be a tool of oppression or of liberation.” 

POSTED: Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 2:43pm
UPDATED: Friday, October 8, 2021 - 4:11pm
Isabelle Stewart, '22