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:Slut Politics in Queer Spaces: Slut Shaming and Solidarity in U of I's Queer Culture
Author(s):Leone, William DeWayne
LGBT Resource Center
Abstract:This ethnographic project investigates how the comfort zones at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's LGBT Resource Center (aka "the Center") and at Thursgays (Murphy's Pub on Thursday nights) are able to exist precisely because of this diverse exclusivity. While the Center in particular is promoted by staff, students, and the university administration as an inclusive and diverse space, many of those that frequent the Center or the ostensibly queer-friendly Thursgays "notice the exclusivity," to use one participant's words. I argue that these comfort zones are enabled by the privileging of a "Queer-First" subjectivity that all people with queer desires supposedly embody, and that this spatial privileging of a normative subject fosters a segregated comfort zone hostile to those that fail to fully invest in Queer-First subjectivity.
Issue Date:2012-05
Course / Semester:GWS 467/HIST 396 Locating Queer Culture Spring 2012
Instructor, Siobhan Somerville
Our goal for this course was to create original research projects about queer culture, with a special focus on our local context, the University of Illinois, in relation to the surrounding Urbana-Champaign area. 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? Our course texts included selected examples of queer cultural production, including film, novels, television, magazines, and music. Assignments were designed around two research projects: (1) an archival research project on some aspect of local queer history and (2) an ethnographic research project on some aspect of contemporary local queer culture.
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-06-05

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

  • Diversity on Campus/Equity and Access
    This collection examines ways in which the U.S. university and the American college experience are affected by diversity, and difference. In particular, these student projects examine experiences of diversity on campus, including important contemporary social, cultural, and political debates on equity and access to university resources.

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