General information

Course type EPICUR
Module title Europe’s Lgbtq Histories, Cultures And Politics: A Comparative Global Perspective
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Paweł Leszkowicz
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of Arts Studies
Semester 2023/2024 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 05-QPEEP-histszt


This course starts on March 4,  2024, and finishes on June 17, 2024.  Classes will be taught  on Mondays at 15.00 via MS Teams. It is an online course for Epicur and Erasmus students.

Schedule: Classes will be taught  on Mondays at 15.00 via MS Teams

End date: March 4 - June 17, 2024

Language: English B2

Mode of Delivery: online

Additional contact to Professor Paweł Leszkowicz: 

Module aim (aims)

This course offers a comparative, transnational and intercultural  approach to LGBTQ+ histories, cultures, identities, politics  and rights in Europe. We will examine  contemporary European histories of sexuality, love and rights, concentrating on questions of queer identities, freedom of expression, cultural representations, censorship and homophobic repression, state of democracy as well as the intersection of culture and the politics of emancipation. This European story will be related to parallel global developments in the late twentieth and twenty-first century. The historical cultural focus will be on visual arts, film, media, theatre, pop culture and sexual  politics since the 1960s, paying special  attention to the contemporary situation in the EU and broader Europe in the 2020s. The diverse and contested status of queer rights in Europe will be emphasized and analyzed through the selected cases of cultural and political actions and activism--to demonstrate the constant cultural changes and challenges of queer emancipation. To inspire contextual and critical understanding of European  identities, the EU anti-discriminatory legislation and its efficiency will be considered as well as the significant differences of LGBTQ+ rights in various part of Europe.

Research into and discussions about particular national cases in Europe  will  be determined by the nationality of students participating in the course. The students will be encouraged to work on individual research projects and to share and discuss their results with other participants.   The interdisciplinary nature of the seminar makes it open and relevant to students from such disciplines as European Studies; Global  Studies; History; Art History; Cultural Studies; Sociology;  Gender Studies; Psychology; Journalism and Law.

Problem-based learning / challenge-based learning

The students will be encouraged to conduct individual research into a chosen topic related to LGBTQ+ issues; this assignment will inspire them to investigate a specific set of historical and contemporary  problems  and questions. Some of these issues are going to challenge their prerequisite knowledge about diversity and equality in Europe.


The interdisciplinary nature of the seminar makes it open and relevant to students from such disciplines as European Studies; Global  Studies; History; Art History; Cultural Studies; Sociology;  Gender Studies; Psychology; Journalism and Law.  The  LGBTQ+ issues are at the intersection of politics, culture and psychology; hence the course will encourage the students to apply a multidisciplinary approach to understand the topics of individual research or in class discussions. The contextual character of LGBTQ+ rights will invite the students to look into a variety of disciplines and practices which determine the situation of human rights and democracy.     

Collaboration and Active Student Engagement

The students will be asked to participate in discussions and to give  individual and group presentations on assigned or chosen topic; thus they would be encouraged to be active in the class and to collaborate with other participants.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Seminar attendance and the reading of assigned texts are compulsory. Seminars will be organized around discussion about reading from the syllabus and around individual students’ presentations of selected topics. On a rotating basis, each student will give a couple of brief presentations that should include visual material and the obligatory readings. The classes are intended to foster lively discussion, dialogic exchange and mutual learning. Toward the end of the semester each student will deliver a longer talk on their research for the final paper. Therefore the ability to critically understand and summarize academic and journalistic texts is necessary, as well as the skills of in class presentations and academic writing. The general knowledge of European history and current politics would be appreciated.


Week 1

Students and teacher introduction.

 Queer Culture and Identities?   


Week 2


The Sexual Politics of the European Union



Week 3

LGBTQ Organisations, Networks and  Visibility Campaigns  in Europe



Week 4

The Legal History of  Homosexuality in Europe


Week 5

LGBTQ  Artists’


Week 6


Major Recent Queer Exhibitions and Films


Week 7

Contemporary Queer  Struggles  in  Russia and Eastern Europe


Week 8

National Histories of Queer Culture I


Week 9

National Histories of Queer Culture   II


Week 10

National Histories of Queer Culture III


Week 11


Debates about Marriage Equality


Week 12

Queer Cities  


Week 13

Students Project Presentations 1


Week 14


Students Project Presentations 2



Week 15

Students Project Presentations 3



Reading list

-Anthonissen, Anton, and Straaten Evert van, Queer!? Visual Arts in Europe 1969-2019 , Amsterdam: Waanders Uitgevers, 2019. 

-Ayoub, Phillip, When States Come Out: Europe’s Sexual Minorities and the Politics of Visibility, Cambridge University Press, 2016

-Ayoub, Phillip (ed.), LGBT Activism and the Making of Europe: A Rainbow Europe?, Palgrave Macmillan , 2014

-Beger, Nico J., Tensions in the Struggle for Sexual Minority Rights in Europe. Que(e)rying Political Practices. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2004.

- Blake, Nayland,  Lawrence Rinder and  Amy Scholder. eds. In a Different Light. Visual Culture, Sexual Identity, Queer Practic.e  San Francisco: University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California at Berkeley, City Lights Books, 1995.

-Chiang Howard (ed.) Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History, GALE CENGAGE REFERENCE 2019.

- Clapman,  Andrew,  Waaldijk, Kees (eds.), Homosexuality: an European Community Issue. Essays on Gay and Lesbian Rights in European Law and Policy , Martin Nishoff  Publisher, 1993.

-Cook, Mark & Evans, J.V., eds.  Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe since 1945. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.

-Derks M., Berg M. (ed.), Public Discourses About Homosexuality and Religion in Europe and Beyond, Palgrave MacMillan 2020.

-Dhoest Alexander, Lukasz Szulc, Bart Eeckhout (ed.), LGBTQs, Media and Culture in Europe,  Routledge 2017.

-Downing Lisa,  Robert Gillett, (ed.), Queer in Europe. Contemporary Case Studies,  Routledge 2020.

- Dyer, Richard. Now You See It. Studies on Lesbian and Gay Film. New York, London: Routledge, 1990.

-Faderman, Lilliana. The Gay Revolution. The Story of the Struggle. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Simon & Schuster, 2015.

-Fejes Narcisz, Balogh Andrea (eds), Queer Visibility in Post-socialist Cultures, Bristol, Chicago, Intellect, 2013.

-Getsy, David J. ed. Queer Art. Documents of Contemporary Art. London: Whitechapel Gallery, The MIT Press, 2016.

-Griffiths, Robin and  Mark, eds. Queer Cinema in Europe. Bristol, Chicago: Intellect, 2008.

-Healey, Dan.  Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi. London:  Bloomsbury Academic,  2017.

-Horne, Peter and Lewis Reina, eds. Outlooks. Lesbian and Gay Sexualities and Visual Cultures. London, New York: Routledge,1996.

-Duberman, Martin, ed.  Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past. New York: Penguin, 1989.  

-Kitliński, Tomasz.  Dream? Democracy!  A Philosophy of Horror, Hope & Hospitality in Art & Action. Lublin: Maria Curie-Skłodowska University Press 2014.   

-Kulpa, Robert and Joanna Mizielinska (ed.), De-Centring Western Sexualities Central and Eastern European Perspectives , London: Ashgate, 2011.

-Leszkowicz, Pawel. Ars Homo Erotica (exhibition catalogue). Warsaw: The National Museum of Art,  CePed, 2010. 

-Lord, Catherine and Meyer Richard, eds. Art & Queer Culture. London, New York: Phaidon 2013.

-Miller, Neil. Out of the Past. Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present. London, New York:  Vintage, 1995.

-Nussbaum, Martha C. Sex and Social Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

-Nussbaum, Martha C. From Disgust to Humanity. Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

- Rosello, Mireille, ed.  What's Queer about Europe? Productive Encounters and Re-enchanting Paradigms. Fordham University Press, 2014.

-Tin, Louis-Georges. ed. The Dictionary of Homophobia: A Global History of Gay & Lesbian Experience. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2008.