General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Queer and Culture in the Context of East/West Distinction
Language English
Module lecturer Błażej Warkocki
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position prof. UAM
Faculty Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 000


Module aim (aims)

The course introduces to the general characteristics of contemporary queer studies as source of analytical tools for interpreting literature, art, film and generally – culture. For this reason, it has several basic goals. First, it will present a map of basic concepts and categories within queer theory. Especially theoretical concepts of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (for example: homosocial desire, homosexual panic, homosocialities, masculinities, feminities, affects, shame, gender perfomativity). Secondly, course will present important queer motives in Eastern and Central European culture and history as well as LGBT emancipation, rise of homophobia, especially since 1989. Thirdly - in this historical and methodological context, Eastern European (especially Polish), art and literature will be presented (W. Gombrowicz, D. Masłowska, M. Witkowski, K. Radziszewski etc).

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


Week 1:
General introduction and main concepts

Week 2:
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and queer theory
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Thinking through queer theory

Week 3:
Homosocialities, friendship and male intimacy: Queer Reading of Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad, Il Conde. A Pathetic Tale (short story)

Week 4:
Female homosocilities, intimicies and friedship
Reading (fragments of) L-word and other cultural examples

Week 5:
The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe

Week 6:
Beyond Western Theories (discussing queer temporalities in Eastern Europe)

Week 7:
Reading the transgender (in the historical context)

Week 8:
Film and Gender Politics during Communist Era
Lukasz Szulc, “Transnational Homosexuals in Communist Poland: Cross-Border Flows in Gay and Lesbian Magazines”

Week 9:
Shame and Art: Queer Art of Witold Gombrowicz
Short stories from the volume “Baccacay”

Week 10:
Queering the nation and nationalising the queer: perspectives and risks of the nation-based bonding model in non-normative communities

Week 11:
Queer and Postsocialist Nostalgia
Lovetown by M. Witkowski
Agata Pyzik, Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West (Zero Books: Winchester-Washington 2014

Week 12:
Queer Art and Emancipation in Polad since 1989

Week 13:
Homophobia and social change in Eastern Europe

Week 14:
Queer identities and homophobia in the context of East/West distinction

Week 15:
Potentials of queer music culture
Polish queer, camp and performative music acts in the world context

Reading list

Baer James Brian, Other Russias. Homosexuality and the Crisis of Post-Soviet Identity (Palgrave 2009).
Beachy Robert, Gay Berlin. Birthplace of a Modern Identity (Alfred A. Knopf: New York 2015).
Halberstam J. , Female Masculinity, Durham-London: Duke University Press 1998).
Halberstam J., The Queer Art of Failure (Duke University Press 2011).
Homosexuality and Male Bonding in Pre-nazi Germany, ed. Harry Oosterhuis, Routledge (Routledge: New York – London 2010).
LGBTQ+ Activism in Central and Eastern Europe. Resistance, Representation and Identity, ed. R. Buyantueva and M. Shevtsova, (Palgrave 2019).
Mazierska Ewa, Black Peters and Men of Marble. Masculinity in Polish, Czech and Slovak Cinema (Berghahn: Oxford- New York 2008).
Mosse George L. , Nationalism and Sexuality. Respectability and Abnormal Sexuality in Modern Europe, Howard Fertig , Nowy Jork 1997.
Out of the Blue. Russia's Hiden Gay Literature. An Anthology, ed. Hevin Moss (Sun Francisco: Gay Sunshine Press 1997).
Polish Literature in Transformation, ed. Ursula Phillips, K. A. Grimstad, K. van Heuckelom (Verlag: Berlin 2013).
Pyzik Agata, Poor but Sexy: Culture Clashes in Europe East and West (Zero Books: Winchester-Washington 2014).
Reading L-word. Outing Contemporary Television, red. Kim Akass and Janet Mccabe (London- New York: I. B. Tauris, 2008).
Reading Sedgwick, ed. Lauren Berlant (Duke University Press: Durkham and London 2019).
Kajinić Sanja, Post-Yugoslav Queer Festivals (Palgrave 2019).
Sedgwick E. Kosofsky, The Weather in Proust, red. J. Goldberg, M. Moon, Duke University Press, Durham, London 2011.
Sedgwick Eve Kosofsky , Between Men. English literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press 1985).
Szulc Lukasz, Transnational Homosexual in Communist Poland. Cross-Border Flows in Gay and Lesbian Magazines (Palgrave 2017)
O'Dwyer Conor, The Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe (New York: New York University Press 2018)
Woods Gregory , Homitern. How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World, New Haven and London: Yale University Press).