Blue Devil of the Week: Teaching ‘Queer China’ and ‘Vampire Chronicles’

Professor Carlos Rojas’ niche course topics explore broader cultural themes

Carlos Rojas, a professor of Chinese Cultural Studies, teaches his course,
Carlos Rojas, a professor of Chinese Cultural Studies, teaches his course, "Queer China," in Smith Warehouse.

“I like taking topics that students have an inherent interest in and using them to draw out a set of underlying concerns that I think are worth talking and thinking through. That’s what I try to do with the vampire course. We are looking at the ways that vampire fiction and film reflect a set of anxieties about contagion, infection, disease and concerns about desire, and normative and non-normative forms of sexuality. Vampirism is almost a blank slate through which every society explores its most salient fears and concerns and desires. In the ‘Queer China’ course, I use it as a platform through which to look at ways to think about gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual desire, and the relationship between gender and sexual orientation. One of the motivations of the course is that beginning in the late ‘80s and ‘90s, you have kind of an explosion of discourse and visibility of queer concerns in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, in response to global concerns in the wake of the HIV/AIDS pandemic as well as to more localized sociopolitical developments in each of the regions.”

Carlos Rojas
Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies, Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
7 years at Duke

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