The study of sexual identity and its related cultural history. It emerged as the academic response to the Stonewall Riots in 1969, initially as a challenge to the academy, but very rapidly became a standard inclusion (albeit in a very tokenistic way) in most humanities and social sciences faculties. It would be an exaggeration to claim that Queer Studies has become mainstream but its exceptional status is certainly a thing of the past. As a field it has become substantial enough to generate several subfields including Asian Queer Studies, Black Queer Studies, Queer Cinema, Queer Nation, and Queer Theory. Although the obvious point of focus for Queer Studies is gay and lesbian people, the deeper purpose of Queer Studies is to challenge the efficacy of such labels to begin with. It questions why society should allocate resources and grant privileges according to sexual orientation. In this respects, its approach, which tends to be highly interdisciplinary, mirrors that of Postcolonial Studies, feminism, and race studies.
R. Corber and S. Valocchi Queer Studies: An Interdisciplinary Reader (2003).
Subjects: Art — Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.