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Study information

Queer Theory in the Global Context

Module titleQueer Theory in the Global Context
Module codePOC3134
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Sabiha Allouche (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The module introduces you to important sexuality-related paradigms beyond identarian concerns by centring the relationship of sexuality to colonialism, nationalism and globalization. Our interdisciplinary reading list helps us understand the workings of sexuality at the micro, meso and macro levels. The module adopts an interdisciplinary approach to sexuality and prioritizes a theoretically diverse curriculum and a range of teaching tools and assessments. Given the module’s investment in social justice, queer writing and visuals, alongside the fields of affect theory, new materialism and futurity studies take centre-stage.  

Although no prior knowledge is required, it is expected that students taking this course are interested in issues and debates related to the intersection of sexuality with global socio-political and economic processes. The module is especially suitable for students interested in understanding the relationship between knowledge production and the (in)equalities that permeate our contemporary world.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to showcase the centrality of sexuality to global and local processes of governance. It prioritizes intersectional analysis and complicates, rather than simplify, our understanding of the complex relationship of the body to larger socio-political and economic structures. Whilst being situated primarily at the intersection of gender and sexuality studies, the module embraces an overall decolonial methodology that prioritizes historicizing and contextualizing. The module places queer debates across and within distinct borders and times, and pushes for a multi-faceted understanding of what we loosely term politics, history or culture.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Understand the specificity and materiality of sexuality by anchoring it in diverse contexts
  • 2. Become highly familiar with the theoretical reach and scope of queer theory

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Develop a critical vocabulary and working knowledge of sexuality debates beyond identity politics
  • 4. discuss and analyse complex overlapping and intersection power structures

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Work independently and communicate clearly in writing and speaking
  • 6. Confidently approach and engage in complex queer theoretical conversations

Syllabus plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:

Knowledge as Embodied

Sexuality and the Modern Nation-State

Sexuality and Colonialism

The Securitization and Militarization of Sexuality

The Commodification of Sexuality

Sexuality and/in the Diaspora(s)

Queer Theory and Futurity Studies

Queer Childhood Studies

Queer Aesthetics

Trans*- ing and Crossing in the Contemporary World

Queer Transnational Solidarity Work

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x 2 hours sessions Sessions to consist of a mix of lecture/seminar.
Guided independent studies128Private study – students are expected to read suggested texts and make notes prior to seminar sessions. They are also expected to read widely to complete their coursework assignments. More specifically, students are expected to devote at least: 66 (6 hours per topic/week) hours to directed reading; 6 hours to completing the formative research outline; 42 hours (3 hours/day over two weeks) for completing the essay; 10 hours (2 hours/day over 5 days) for completing literature critique pieces. The 4 remaining hours serve as a margin to be adjusted depending on the student in question

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project Proposal700 words1-6Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critical Review Piece35800 words1-6Written
Summative Project652200 words or equivalent1-6Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Critical Review PieceCritical Review Piece, 800 words (35%)1-6August/September re-assessment period
Summative ProjectEssay, 2200 words or equivalent(65%)1-6August/September reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Critical Review Piece  800 words (35%) August/September reassessment period (Students have the choice to write a critical review on one of the essential readings. Convenor to designate 10 essential readings  for students to choose from.

Sumamtive Project of 2200 words or equivalent (65%) August/September reassessment period Students produce their final project following feedback provided on their formative project proposal.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

This list is indicative:

Monographs and Journal Articles (Selected):

Ahmed, Sara. 2013. Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality.Routledge: London and New York.

a khanna. 2007. Us “Sexuality Types”: A Critical Engagement with the Postcoloniality of Sexuality, in B. Bose & S. Bhattacharyya, eds. The Phobic and the Erotic: The Politics of Sexualities in Contemporary India, pp.159- 167.

Amer, Sahar. 2012. Naming to Empower: Lesbianism in the Arab Islamicate World Today, Journal of Lesbian Studies, vol. 1, no.4, pp. 381-397.

Boone, Joseph. 2014. The Homoerotics of Orientalism, Columbia University Press.

Chávez, Karma. 2013. Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

D’Emilio, John. 1983. “Capitalism and Gay Identity”, in A. Snitow, C. Stansell & S Thompson, eds. Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, Monthly Review Press.

Duggan Lisa. 2002. “The New Homonormativity: The Sexual Politics of Neoliberalism.” In: Castronovo R. and Nelson D.D. (eds) Materializing Democracy. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 173–194.

El-Tayeb, Fatima. 2012. “Gays who cannot properly be gay’: Queer Muslims in the Neoliberal European City,” European Journal of Women’s Studies, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 79-95.

Engebretsen, Elizabeth. 2013. Queer Women in Urban China: An Ethnography. Routledge: London and New York.

Fejes, Fred. 2000. Market niche at last, market niche at last, thank god almighty, we're a market niche at last: The political economy of Lesbian/Gay identity. [online]

Grewal, Inderpal. 1996. Home and Harem: Nation, Gender, Empire, and the Cultures of Travel. Durham: Duke University Press.

Habib, Samar, 2010. Islam and Homosexuality, ABC-CLIO.

Haritaworn, Jin. 2015. QueerLovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places, Pluto Press.

Hopwood, Denis. 1999. Sexual Encounters in the Middle East: The British, the French, and the Arabs, Reading: Ithaca.

Jad, Islah. 2014. Between Religion and Secularism: Islamist Women of Hamas’, in Fereshteh Nouraie-Simone (ed.) On Shifting Ground: Muslim Women in the Global Era, New York: Feminist Press.

Kandiyoti, Deniz. 1991. Women, Islam, and the State, Temple University Press.

____________. 1988. Bargaining with Patriarchy, Gender and Society, 2(3), pp. 274 – 290.

Karayanni Stavros, S. 2004. Dancing Fear and Desire: Race, Sexuality, and Imperial Politics in the Middle Eastern Dance, Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Massad, Joseph. 2007. Desiring Arabs, Chicago: Chicago University Press.

McCormick, Jared. 2011. Hairy Chest, Will Travel: Tourism, Identity, and Sexuality in the Levant. Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, vol 7, no. 3.pp. 71-97.

Mourad, Sara. 2013. Queering the Mother Tongue. International Journal of Communication, vol. 7, no. 14, pp. 2533-2546.

Najmabadi, Afsaneh. 2005. Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity, University of California Press.

Perez, Hiram. 2005. You can have my brown body and eat it, too! Social Text 2005, vol. 23, pp.171-191.

Puar, Jasbir. 2013. Rethinking Homonationalism, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 45, pp. 336-339.

___________. 2007. Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, Durham: Duke University Press.

Rao, Rahul. 2014. The Location of Homophpbia, London Review of International Law, Volume 2, Issue 2, 1 September 2014, Pages 169–199.

___________. 2015. Global Homocapitalism. Radical Philosophy, vol. 194, pp. 38-49.

Richter-Montpetit, Melanie. 2017.  Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex (in IR) But were Afraid to Ask: The ‘Queer Turn’ in International Relations, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, vol 46. No.2, pp. 220-240.

Traub, Valerie. 2008. The Past is a Foreign Country? The Times and Spaces of Islamicate Sexualities, in Islamicate Sexualities: Translations Across Temporal Geographies of Desire, edited by Kathryn Babayan, Afsaneh Najmabadi, Cambridge : Harvard University.

Weber, Cynthia. 2016. Queer International Relations: Sovereignty, Sexuality, and the Will to Knowledge, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Yegenoglu, Meyda. 1998. Colonial Fantasies: Towards a Feminist Reading of Orientalism, Cambridge University Press.

ZeÃ?��Ã?�Ã?¼evi, Devi.2006. Producing Desire: Changing Sexual Discourse in the Ottoman Middle East, 1500-1900, University of California Press. 

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE –
  • Kanopy;
  • podcasts;
  • blogs and vlogs;
  • cultural productions (songs; music videos; films; performances);
  • policy briefs;
  • annual reports from selected international organizations

Key words search

Queer theory; Exeter; history of sexuality; queer aesthetics; sexuality; capitalism; intersectionality 

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date