A public university in New Jersey says it's no longer teaching about “nonhuman perspectives on queer” in a spring 2019 LGBT studies class. However, the university admits that the class once did teach about nonhuman queer perspectives.
Montclair State University, through its Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies Department will hold a class this spring called “Queer Identities in a Transforming World: The Trouble with Normal.”
The three-credit, three-hour lecture course was designed to build upon themes students learned in the department’s introductory 100-level course on LGBT studies.
The course was originally reported on by the conservative campus watchdog site The College Fix, which linked to a description of the course that the university now says is outdated.
The outdated description explained that the class would explore such things as the Latin roots of the word “trans” and how it relates to “queer as a position that allows for shifting identities."
The description stated that students would engage in what the university calls a “critical analysis of gender, sexuality, race, class, and ecology, and synthesize methodologies from different disciplines throughout humanities” in order to “gain a broad intersectional, multicultural and historical understanding of the term 'queer, and of queer and transgender studies.”
Students would explore topics including: “gender performance, the third sex, transgender issues, intersex issues, the political underpinnings and the transgressive nature of 'queer', [and] the history of queer politics (from AIDS activism to the gay marriage issue), schisms within the LGBTQ political movements, queers and disability, issues of race, class, and representation within the queer community, and nonhuman perspectives on queer.”
Following The College Fix article, other conservative news outlets reported on how the school would be teaching about “nonhuman perspectives on queer” with confusion as to what exactly that means.
The Christian Post reached out to Montclair State for information about the class and was told that the course description for the class is “outdated” and that an earlier version of the course had material related to observations of animal sexual behavior. However, the course in question no longer covers that particular subject.
The class will be taught by Associate Professor Caroline Dadas, whose specialties include “queer online rhetorics” and has a research agenda that involves studying the intersections of civic participation by queer-identified individuals.
“This is a course about gender identity,” a university spokesperson said in an official statement. “Montclair State offers courses which explore a wide range of topics related to our physical world, social structures, art, science, intellectual thought and the broad scope of human experience, which includes the study of gender identity and human sexuality.”
The spokesperson shared the current course description with CP:
"Building on lessons from the required GLQS 100 course, this course will explore ‘trans’ and ‘queer’ as positions that allow for shifting identities. We will engage in a critical analysis of gender, sexuality, race, class, and ecology, and synthesize methodologies from various disciplines in the humanities to gain a broad intersectional, multicultural, and historical understanding of the term ‘queer’—and of queer and transgender studies.
"We will explore issues such as gender performance, the third sex, transgender issues, intersex issues, the political underpinnings and the transgressive nature of ‘queer’, the history of queer politics (from AIDS activism to the gay marriage issue), schisms within the LGBTQ political movements, queers and disability, and issues of representation within the queer community."
According to the 2018 Montclair University Catalog, the course in question (also known as GLQS201) is one of two classes students are required to take in order to receive a minor in gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer studies.
The catalog indicates that the class is also required for students to receive a bachelor’s in gender, sexuality and women's studies.