Skip to main content

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

Other library resource(s)

Something other than books and journals ...

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.