Just as pornography is notoriously clinical, so it is hard to write analytically about sexuality without a certain sensationalism. The works of Freud are the thinking person’s pulp fiction.
In days gone by, a typical critical essay might be entitled ‘Window Imagery in the Later Pasternak’ or ‘Class Struggle in The Divine Comedy’.
But times are changing, even in academia. Now conference papers with titles like ‘Putting the Anus back into Coriolanus’ are everywhere..
The shift from class struggle to the anus was not one from the political to the erotic, but from one kind of politics to another.
Sexual politics became de rigueur. Gay and lesbian concerns have occupied middle-class brows. It now feels as if ‘Queer Studies’ has taken over universities.
Queer studies is the critical theory based study of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
They usually focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and cultures. Universities have also labeled this area of analysis Sexual Diversity Studies.
Methodologies in queer studies include:
Searching for queer influences and themes in works of literature.
Linking the oppression of women, racialized groups and disadvantaged classes with that of queer people.
Exploring homosexuals in history who have been ignored and excluded from the canon.