When you long with all your heart for someone to love you, a madness grows there that shakes all sense from the trees and the water and the earth. And nothing lives for you, except the long deep bitter want. And this is what everyone feels from birth to death.-Denton Welch, In Youth Is Pleasure. In this course we will examine the multifold directions taken by gay and lesbian writing since, oh, around 1960. Beyond the construction of sexual identity, queer writing speaks directly to our condition as human animals caught up in the nightmare of neoliberal agendas. How do we identify a writing as queer? Do we wait for it to have sex with other writing of the same gender? Is there a difference between the perversion of yesterday, and the subversion of today? Does the queer imperative operate across the divides of genre as well as gender? We will be reading and discussing fiction, poetry, drama, and essays by a variety of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and just plain straight writers, beginning with Noel Coward?s epic play Waiting in the Wings and Adrienne Rich's Snapshots of a Daughter in Law. Other writers to be examined include Truman Capote, Audre Lorde, Jack Spicer, John Wieners, James Purdy, Kathy Acker, Helen Adam, Jean Genet, Samuel Delany, Sarah Schulman, Dennis Cooper, Eileen Myles, Paul and Jane Bowles, William Burroughs, David Wojnarowicz. This class will run through essays from a variety of spaces and cultures, everyone from Susan Sontag and Diane Arbus, to bell hooks and Michel Foucault. And theorists like Heather Love, Eve Sedgwick, Lee Edelman, Leo Bersani. In addition, we will be writing creative and critical responses to assigned readings. In addition, we'll have some class visits from other writers working in this material. This course is open to students of many departments: as Harvey Milk said, "I'm here to recruit you!" This class will run through essays from a variety of spaces and cultures; in addition, we will be writing many essays of our own, testing the waters somewhere between argument and coercion. We will critique that work in class. In addition to writing, this course requires a sizeable amount of reading and critiquing.