CCHU9079 Arts and Humanities
Queering Art, Performance and Cities

This course is under the thematic cluster(s) of:

  • Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth (SCCE)
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Diversity (GSD)


Course Description

Different societies have complex histories in which queerness has always played a role. How do we navigate the intersections and queer transnationalism in the histories and contemporary struggles of selected global cities? This course looks into how genders and sexualities evolved across cultures by examining art practices, cross-media performances, and the contexts of global cities. How are art and cross-media performances engaged with reshaping, or, in other cases, marginalizing queer realities over the years?

How does queer art and performance occur in New York, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Mumbai? And how do these intersections operate both locally and transnationally? Lastly, how do art, media and performance navigate the dominant narratives and transcend the queer realities of these cities?

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

    1. Describe and explain how different Asian societies have expressed genders and sexuality at different historical and cultural junctures.
    2. Compare and contrast the different queer and cultural identities from selected global cities in terms of how their societies have curated their queer subcultures.
    3. Examine selected cultural practices that directly impact gender and sexualities in various global cities and how these shape discourses on gender and sexualities.
    4. Create original works for exhibit as well as art performances that synthesize student learning.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

Second semester (Wed)

Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 8
Film and video viewing 8
Fieldwork / Visits 6
Reading / Self-study 20
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 10
Assessment: Group project / Presentation (incl preparation) 58
Total: 130

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Field report 20
In-class assessment 20
Reflective journal 30
Group work 30

Required Reading

Excerpts from:

  • Chiang, H. (Ed.) (2012). Transgender China. Palgrave McMillan. [Chapters on Fa Dan]
  • Garcia, J. N. C. (2009). Philippine Gay Culture: Binabae to Bakla, Silahis to MSM. HKU Press/ University of the Philippines Press. [Chapters on Babaylan]
  • LeVay, S., & Valente, S. (2009). Human Sexuality (3rd ed.). Sunderland: Sinauer. [Introductory concepts, Chaps. 1, 3, 4, 6]
  • McMillan, J. (2006). Sex, science and morality in China. London: Routledge.
  • Nanda, S. (2000). Gender diversity: Cross-cultural variations. Illinois: Waveland Press. [Chapter on Hijras]
  • Roughgarden, J. (2004). Evolution’s rainbow: diversity, gender and sexuality in nature and people. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Seidman, S., Fischer, N., & Meeks, C. (Eds.) (2007). Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: Original Essays and Interviews. London: Routledge
  • Suthrell, C. (2004). Unzipping gender: sex, cross-dressing and culture. Oxford: Berg.

Articles / Journals: 

  • Bennet, L. R., & Davies, S. G. (Eds.). (2014). Sex and sexualities in contemporary Indonesia: Sexual Politics, Health, Diversity and Representations. Routledge. From [On Bisu]
  • Lee, P. -H. (2017). Queer ‘East Asia’ as an Assemblage of Power, Alterity, and Postcolonial Affect: An Action Note. HYSTERIA Periodical, 8, 86-93. [On New Half and transness and queerness in East Asia]

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr Crystal Kwok
School of Humanities (Comparative Literature), Faculty of Arts
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr Crystal Kwok
School of Humanities (Comparative Literature), Faculty of Arts