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Film Studies: LGBTQ

This guide is an introduction to the resources for Film Studies at Dartmouth. If you are interested in Television, see the separate research guide for Television.

Short definitions

A trend in cultural studies that reclaims a derogatory term referencing homosexuality in order to challenge essentialist ideas of fixed gender identities, sexual preferences, and all forms of ‘normality’, both homo—and hetero-, as well as to promote and celebrate a subversive ‘queering’ of all cultural texts. The philosopher Judith Butler's Bodies That Matter is widely regarded as a founding text of queer theory. In film studies, the development of queer theory and queer cultural politics has gone hand-in-hand with the rise of poststructuralism and postmodernism within the discipline, and with the establishment of New Queer Cinema.

A diverse body of ‘queer’ films (see queer theory), beginning around 1990 and ongoing, that are regarded as constituting a break with earlier representations of gays in cinema. Coined in 1992, the term signals a turning away from notions of negative stereotypes and positive images of gays and gayness in films, and a move towards cinematic explorations of the perverse and the deviant within the sexual domain; and/or celebrations of intertextuality, pastiche, irony, and irreverence.

Kuhn, A. and Westwell, G. (2012). "Queer theory." In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2016

Kuhn, A. and Westwell, G. (2012). "New Queer Cinema." In A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 28 Mar. 2016

In the Library's collections

Suggested subject headings for searching the online catalog include:

Introductory reading(s)

Selected book titles

Finding journal titles & articles

Articles and other writings about the LGBTQ depictions in movies can be found in many publications. You can use Film & Television Literature Index, Communication & Mass Media Complete (CMMC) or the Summon box below to find articles.


Dartmouth Users: Using Summon from off-campus? You'll need VPN for access to full-text.

Internet resource(s)

Keeping up with Film Studies journal literature

Want an easy way to keep up with the journal literature for all facets of Film Studies? And you use a mobile device? You can install the BrowZine app and create a custom Bookshelf of your favorite journal titles. Then you will get the Table of Contents (ToCs) of your favorite journals automatically delivered to you when they become available. Once you have the ToC's you can download and read the articles you want.

You can get the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Don't own or use a mobile device? You can still use BrowZine! It's now available in a web version. You can get to it here. The web version works the same way as the app version. Find the journals you like, create a custom Bookshelf, get ToCs and read the articles you want.