Gender and Queer theory

Questions Assignment:

  1. Read the following two overviews on Gender and Queer theory:
    • “Gender Studies and Queer Theory (1970s-present)” . For future assignments (such as 5.4), cite this source in-text as (Brizee et al.) and like this in your Works Cited (without the bullet):
      • Brizee, Allen, et al. “Gender Studies and Queer Theory (1970s-Present).” The OWL at Purdue, Purdue University, 14 Feb. 2018,
    • Allen, Emily and Dino Felluga. “General Introduction to Theories of Gender & Sex.” Introductory Guide to Critical Theory, Critical Theory Today p.103-111. . Focus your reading on the section about the 19th century and the Victorians (and The New Woman), when Oscar Wilde wrote his plays. For future assignments (such as 5.4), cite this source in-text as (Allen and Felluga) and like this in your Work Cited (without the bullet):
      • Allen, Emily, and Dino Felluga. “General Introduction to Theories of Gender and Sex.”Introductory Guide to Critical Theory, Purdue University, 31 Jan. 2011,
    • As you read:
      • Consider the place in our society for women and those in the LGBT community. Do so especially in relation to notions of status and value, ideas about who has the most power and freedom of choice, and stereotypes some people have about how different genders and individuals of varying sexual/gender orientation behave and see their positions in the world.
      • Ask yourself whether the power structures created by the distinctions we make of gender and sexuality can be challenged. Look closely, for example, at the discussion about notions of “male” and “female” being in flux in the Purdue OWL article above. And in Allen and Felluga’s article, take particular note of the changed ideas about gender roles throughout time, as well as notions of gender and sexuality that don’t seem to have seen much – if any – change.
  2. Brainstorm about your thoughts on each of the two articles for five minutes each, using the above points as a guide while you read.
    • Note that you will not be graded on the correctness of grammar, spelling, mechanics, or citations for this free-writing response. As a brainstorm, this is to be entirely free-form so that you can focus on exploring your thoughts and not be limited by a need to transcribe them into formal writing.
  3. Post your brainstorm to the discussion board by clicking on the title of this activity or through the Discussion Board main menu button on the left.

Another Question Assignment:

  1. Read the following:
  2. Use your word processor to take notes on the following items:
    • Quote 10 instances in which Wilde uses stage directions (be they descriptions of scene, details of an entrance/exit, visualization of a character’s appearance or expression, etc.).
    • Brainstorm, in a length approximating a full paragraph (though without worrying about grammar and usage), what issues, ideas, tones, etc., Wilde is trying to get across in these stage directions.
      • You do not need to come to a grand conclusion, but you should instead use this as an opportunity to begin thinking about how “directorial” decisions influence a play’s overall impact.
  3. Post your list of 10 stage directions and your brainstormed paragraph to the discussion board by clicking on the title of this activity or through the Discussion Board main menu button on the left.

Another Question Assignmen:

  1. Identify five instances in which Gender and Queer theory might apply to The Importance of Being Earnest (these can be lines of dialogue, stage directions, scene summaries, etc.). Review the two articles from 5.1 if needed.
  2. Quote and/or Paraphrase these instances including two lines of commentary for each that make clear why you think these are good examples and what they are saying about issues of gender/sexuality.
    • Properly cite the instances from the play according to MLA 8 format, such as (Wilde, Act II) in-text. For your Work Cited: Wilde, Oscar. “The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People.” Project Gutenberg, 29 Aug. 2006,
  3. Post your five instances, two lines of commentary on each, and citations to the discussion board by clicking on the title of this activity or through the Discussion Board main menu button on the left.


Writing Assigment:

  1. Write an essay of at least 500 words in which you analyze how Gender and Queer theories apply to The Importance of Being Earnest.
  2. Compose the essay with a brief introduction that ends with a thesis statement in which you identify three ways that gender and queer issues are present in the play. Ensure that your thesis previews/forecasts your three main points. Write one body paragraph, with a topic sentence, for each of the main points previewed in your thesis.
  3. Draw on and cite from the two articles about Gender and Queer theory that you read in 5.1, as well as from the play itself, as you compose your main body to argue the validity of these theories as a useful lens for reading the play.
  4. Write at least three body paragraphs, each beginning with a topic sentence that refers to one of the previewed points in your thesis, analyzing areas of Wilde’s play dealing with the issues described in the two articles from 5.1.
  5. Conclude by not only restating your introduction, but, in light of what your main body analysis has revealed, expanding on it by specifically and forcefully summarizing your main points.
  6. Cite the three sources by using MLA 8 format for both articles and the play in your in-text citations and your Works Cited. You must cite all words or ideas (even if you put them into your own words) that you learned from all outside sources. You must cite a source (or sources) in every sentence in which you have relied on an outside source (except for common knowledge). Using words or ideas from outside sources without citing them in-text is plagiarism. Do not plagiarize! Essays containing plagiarism will earn 0 points.