Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Educating Our Youth in Queer Topics: Is UIUC Truly a Community Leader?
Author(s):Britton, Kari
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
Campus organizations
High school
2009 Spring
Issue Date:2009
Course / Semester:GWS 495 Researching Queer Culture
Prof. Siobhan Somerville
Our goal for this course was to learn different methods for researching “queer culture,” with a special focus on our local context at UIUC. Our guiding questions included: What are the various ways of defining “queer”? What counts as “culture”? Where do we find queer culture? How is queer culture produced, sustained, or transformed? How do institutions (such as universities) help to produce or erase queer culture? What roles do race, class, and/or gender play in the production and/or visibility of queer culture? We explored two research methods in depth: history and ethnography. One of the most exciting aspects of this course was that students produced their own original research based on genuine gaps in existing knowledge. By the end of the course, students not only had become familiar with the main currents in existing scholarship on queer culture, but also had produced their own new archival histories and ethnographic accounts of queer culture at UIUC. A special feature of this course was its connection to the Ethnography of the University Initiative. By taking the course, students also participated in a campus-wide research project about the university itself. More information about EUI is available at
Date Available in IDEALS:2009-07-21

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Student Communities and Culture
    The university offers an extraordinary opportunity to study and document student communities, life, and culture. This collection includes research on the activities, clubs, and durable social networks that comprise sometimes the greater portion of the university experience for students.

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