Queer Cinema and Visual Culture

A man with a stern expression stands amongst three females: a preteen, a teenager, and an adult.  Each female wears jeans, sneakers, and a striped shirt.

The cast from a production of the Tony Award-winning musical Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir of the same name. (Image courtesy of Portland Center Stage on flickr. License CC BY-NC.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2017



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course analyzes mainstream, popular films produced in the post-World War II 20th century U.S. as cultural texts that shed light on ongoing historical struggles over gender identity and appropriate sexual behaviors. It traces the history of LGBTQ/queer film through the 20th and into the 21st century. It also examines the effect of the Hollywood Production Code and censorship of sexual themes and content, and the subsequent subversion of queer cultural production in embedded codes and metaphors. In addition, this course also considers the significance of these films as artifacts and examples of various aspects of queer theory.

Related Content

K.J. Surkan. WGS.181 Queer Cinema and Visual Culture. Fall 2017. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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