During the Fall 2018 semester Professor Luis Campos at the University of New Mexico will be teaching an undergraduate class on queer history. Campos has been teaching the class to undergraduate and graduate students since the Fall 2017 semester.
While the history department offers courses that discuss the history of sex and sexuality, Campos said he believes one can look at this concept from a myriad of angles.
“Different things come into focus when you use a different analytical frame,” Campos said.
The scope of the course is ambitiously large. Its description reads: “Cultural contexts to be explored in the first half of the term will range from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, through medieval Middle Eastern, Arabic, and European contexts, through to the Renaissance and Enlightenment. In the second half of the term, particular attention will be paid to the development of modern categories of the ‘homosexual.’”
Campos said the number of topics covered is necessary.
“Developing a historical perspective will make students better placed to evaluate and critically appreciate the place of queer sexualities in our modern world,” Campos said.
The historical perspective Campos said he hopes to place his students in examines the development of queer identity over time as opposed to the actions of specific queer individuals.
“Queer history is not just a list of names and dates — queer history is fundamentally about identities, experiences, oppressions, accommodations, connections, causes, movements and moments of liberation,” Campos said.
Because of this focus on the collective history of queer groups, he said queer history can be confused with other courses on sex and sexuality.
“Queer history certainly intersects in important ways with other courses on the history of sex, gender or sexuality,” Campos said. “However this only provides one analytical frame (that) is broad — the analytical frame this class uses is more narrow.”
Registration for this course is currently open to undergraduate students, and the UNM course catalog lists no prerequisite courses.
Donald Amble is a freelance news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @Deambler.