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Queer and Trans Screen Cultures

Key information

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Module description

This module explores queer and trans screen cultures from film to television and digital media. Decentering white, cisgendered and male narratives that are often at the heart of studies of queer culture, the module introduces students to queer and trans stories that have been shaped – and often sidelined – by inequalities of race, class, (dis)ability, nationality, sexuality and gender identity. Drawing on debates about gendered and sexual fluidities and LGBTQ+ identity politics that have emerged from queer and trans studies, the module troubles the assumed relationship between visibility and progressive politics whilst considering questions of desire, authenticity, orientation, privilege, shame and pleasure.

We ask: How do marginalised communities encounter and challenge the paradigms of dominant culture?

(How) has digital production, distribution and exhibition transformed contemporary queer and trans representation?

What are the conventions that shape understandings of queer and trans culture and the ongoing exclusions of multiply marginalised groups?

Engaging with screen media alongside theoretical texts (and others that blur the lines between the two), we will consider radical approaches to the study of sexuality. Throughout, we will explore how contemporary media makers work through their attachments to and critiques of social movements of the twentieth century, with an attention to intersectionality, identity politics and the personal politics of social justice.

Assessment details


  • Weekly journal entries



  • 1 x 4000 word essay (85%)
  • Participation mark to be based on completion of journal entries and contribution to seminar discussions (15%)

Educational aims & objectives

  • Introduce students to a range of queer and trans screen media, particularly from the first decades of the twenty-first century
  • Introduce students to queer and trans theoretical approaches to contemporary media in dialogue with feminist and critical race theories
  • Encourage students to reflect on the inequalities inherent in canon formation and pay attention to under-recognised or under-valued cultural forms and subjects
  • Give students the skills to critically interrogate screen cultures in a way that is attentive to social and political mechanisms as well as cultural form
  • Highlight the technological, social and political questions that characterise the study of contemporary screen cultures

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will:

  • Demonstrate critical engagement with and understanding of a range of screen media
  • Engage with theoretical material that interrogates questions of gender, sexuality and race through feminist, queer and trans theories
  • Develop skills in reading primary and secondary material attentively and thoughtfully
  • Participate effectively in group discussion
  • Communicate ideas clearly and persuasively in a sustained piece of critical writing
Module description disclaimer

King’s College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant programmes of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

Please note that modules with a practical component will be capped due to educational requirements, which may mean that we cannot guarantee a place to all students who elect to study this module.

Please note that the module descriptions above are related to the current academic year and are subject to change.