ILS 2180                                                              Ken Harmon
Sexuality/Culture/Law                                     [email protected]
Sect. 2: TR 11:00-12:15  GWC 408                      Office:  Suite 530, Gateway Center, 5th floor
3 credit hours                                                     Office Hours: MW 11:00am-12:00pm
Spring 2024                                                                                 & by appointment      

Welcome to Integrative Learning:  Sexuality/Culture/Law! 


Since 1950, there have been multiple revolutions in the way we conceptualize sexuality.  In biology, evidence has mounted that sexual orientation is genetically and physiologically hardwired rather than a choice or preference.  Literature and popular culture have moved from portraying homosexuality as a joke to treating it as a serious topic of personal liberation.  The law has moved from criminalizing homosexual acts to granting same-sex marriage licenses.  This course explores the likes, or lack thereof, between these different developments.  Is law more open to sexual variety because of the findings of brain science? Or did these things occur independently?  How do we relate these developments to the post-structural analysis of sexuality that sexuality is a modern invention? Through a New Historical approach, we will examine the evolution of LGBTQ+ identity in American film and literature and their intersections with law, science, and philosophy.


Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student should have the ability to:

  Examine and critique the cultural and political influences of experimental results and scientific theories

  Discuss and critique various biological and psychological theories associated with sexual orientation.

  Explain the major constitutional and statutory developments associated with sexual orientation.

  Examine the popular and literary texts that include representation of sexual orientation, situating them within their historical and cultural context.

  Speculate about the connections and causality between scientific findings, popular and literary representations, and legal developments related to the issues of sexual orientation.

 This is a reading and writing intensive course.​

Required Materials

All readings provided by professor

You are responsible for renting and viewing  a number of films for class at or Netflix:

Watch 3 films with rental fee of $2.99-$4.99

 A laptop, a tablet (such as an Ipad), and/or a smart phone. You should bring one of these items to class every day. These will be used to complete in-class course work such as blogging, electronic quizzes, etc.


Students will:  

  •   Attend class meetings and complete all reading, writing, and editing assignments.

  •   Read extensively critical essays by peers and experienced writers with attention to audience, purpose, tone, style, grammar, and punctuation.

  •   Complete daily blog entries 

  •   Actively participate in daily reading discussion groups. 

  •   Complete homework as specified during the term. Homework may include exercises, shorter writing assignments, and other work that develops writing skills. Students should expect to write during or after every class. Students will be expected to participate in collaborative activities and class discussions and listen to lectures.

  •   Demonstrate competence in basic grammar, punctuation, mechanics, sentence structure, paraphrasing, and essay writing as defined through class lecture, model writings, practice, and rubrics.

  •   Conduct, compile, document, and present a research project.

  •   You will compose two major argumentative writing projects along with some more informal writing assignments. I will be more specific about the assignments as their assignment date approaches (see course schedule).

All written work is to be typed, including most in-class writing. All paper assignments will be covered in detail well before they are due. All papers must be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12pt., with 1” borders on top, sides, and bottom according to MLA format.

Each major written assignment will include planning, drafting, revising, editing, and reflection. You are responsible for turning in all materials related to an assignment. This includes: invention strategies, draft versions, peer critiques, a final version, and a reflection. Failure to submit drafts, peer critiques, or reflections on the due date will affect your grade.


The following assignments will be graded. You can accumulate 400 points, which are distributed as follows:

Daily Assignments

Blog Posts                                     5%             (40 pts, 10@ 4 pts. ea.)
Reading Quizzes                          7.5%          (30pts, 6@ 5 pts. ea.)
Reader Responses                        20%           (80 pts., 10@ 8 pts. ea.) 
Claim Sub-Claim Assignment     2.5%          (10 pts., 2 @ 5pts. ea.) 
Drafts                                             2.5%          (10 pts., 2 @ 5pts. ea)
Peer Critiques                               5%             (10 pts., 2 @ 5pts. ea.)
Revision Plans                              5%             (10 pts., 2 @ 5pts. ea.)

Major Assignments (Essay)

Midterm                                        25%            (100 pts).
Final                                              25%            (110 pts.)

 NOTE: Any student that has an A or B average at the beginning of week 14 may opt NOT to take the final exam.

NOTE: Students must complete ALL major essays to pass the course

Final Grades:

360 - 400 A

320 - 359 B

280 - 319 C

240 - 279 D

  0 - 239 F

Official academic grades can be accessed via jwuLink. Grades maintained in the Ulearn course management system are for tracking purposes only and may not reflect all of the criteria considered with calculating a student's final grade.


Taking classes is your job here at the university. Thus, you should treat the work and requirements accordingly. In the workplace things such as absences, tardiness, and not doing your work properly have negative consequences. This is the case in my class as well. Many students’ low grades are a result of not following directions or policies as well as not expending enough effort. It is your responsibility to be aware of the policies on this syllabus. If you miss class it is your responsibility to check with your classmates to find out what you have missed. And though you are always welcome to follow up with me if you are absent, do not ask me if you “missed anything important.”

Your grade is dependent on a number of factors that, together and holistically, inform the evaluation and assessment of your performance. In summary, these criteria include attendance, participation, reading responses/journal entries, reading quizzes, discussion questions, a presentation, and the successful completion of any other reading and written assignments.

Note: The reading load is quite heavy and the pace fast. Also, because writing is a means of discovery and a pathway to understanding, it is an important activity in this class in conjunction with the reading. Indeed, you should think of your writing as a mode of reading that will help you begin to understand the literature at hand. When essays, journals, and in-class assignments are considered together you will be doing some kind of writing assignment every week. Be prepared to spend much time carefully reading, considering, discussing, and writing about the texts in the course. If you cannot devote the time necessary to keep up with the assignments, and to do so in a critical manner, you will not do well in this class and may want to consider if this is the right class for you.

PLAGIARISM: All course assignments ask you to write using what you have learned in the course and using your own thinking and writing skills. If you use any ideas, paraphrases, or exact wording from a source other than yourself (including the textbook), you must document the source using MLA parenthetical documentation style (see handbook or ask instructor). Any source used but not documented will be considered plagiarism, for which you will receive a failing grade for the course. You might also be placed on probation or expelled from the university. If you have any questions about plagiarism, ask before you act. Ask me; see Best Practices for Avoiding Plagiarism.


A. Plagiarism, a SERIOUS, academic violation, which can lead to an F for the course, is the use of WORDS, IDEAS, or STRUCTURES of others (published sources, friends, relatives) without acknowledgment. There is no excuse for willful plagiarism.
B. Except where appropriate (quoting or paraphrasing from primary or secondary sources), your work is presumed to be totally your own writing (i.e. original).
C. When you QUOTE OR PARAPHRASE FROM ANY sources, you MUST cite them with appropriate specific documentation (usually author and page number in parentheses + Works Cited list at end). This includes subject matter of the essay. If you quote or paraphrase precisely from a work of literature, you must cite the author of that work.  
D. If you do not understand the format for documenting sources, see me for help before turning in an essay. Refer to your handbook for further clarification.


Artificial intelligence applications have the potential to support student learning and development when used ethically and responsibly. However, inappropriate use can be a barrier to student learning and can pose a significant risk to academic integrity.

The authorization of the use of generative artificial intelligence (GAI tools) in a course is at the discretion of the course instructor, and it is up to the instructor of the course to determine if and how generative artificial intelligence tools can be used and explicitly communicate those expectations to students. 

If a student has a question on a particular GAI tool, it is her responsibility to review it with the instructor to be granted permission. 

In this class, the use of GAI is a violation of student academic integrity.

Refer to the academic integrity policy:

TURNITIN.COM: All major essays written for this course must be submitted electronically to no later than class time on the date that an assignment is due. Essays that are not uploaded to will not be accepted. 

SMARTTHINKING TUTOR: Students are required to submit each draft of an essay assignment to the Smartthinking tutor a total of two times per essay for feedback and are expected to use that information to revise each essay assignment. If a student fails to do so, they will lose one letter grade per each assignment not submitted to the tutor. See the SmartThinking link in Ulearn for submission details.

SUBMITTING COURSE ASSIGNMENTS: You are required to electronically submit all assignments to Ulearn or a blog for this course. Assignments not submitted in the manner will not be accepted. Any items sent by email will be deleted.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to attend all classes, arrive on time and remain for the entire class period, and report to class fully prepared with all required materials. While active learning will take different forms in different classroom contexts, students are expected to demonstrate active engagement in the classroom. Missed in-class assignments will be recorded as a zero and cannot be made up. Your success in this course is tied to regular attendance.


It is the student’s responsibility to initiate procedures leading to a formal withdrawal (“W") in order to avoid a failing (“F”) grade. To receive a W grade, a student must withdraw prior to April 23, 2023. 

TARDIES: If a student is more than 10 minutes late for class or leaves more than 10 minutes before class is over, they are counted absent for the day. 

ETIQUETTE: Students are expected to respect their classmates’ time and learning environment. Therefore, show up for class prepared and on time. ALL CELL PHONES SHOULD BE SET TO SILENT BEFORE ENTERING THE CLASSROOM. Each time a cell phone disrupts class the entire class will take a pop quiz. Also, if a student leaves the classroom to answer a call, they will be counted absent for the day and not allowed back in the classroom that day. Other disruptive classroom behavior, defined as anything that would interfere with “an instructor’s ability to conduct the class” or “the ability of other students to profit from the instructional program,” is strictly prohibited. This includes texting while the professor is lecturing or during group work when students should be focused on completing the task at hand.


NOTE: Persons other than registered students are not allowed to attend academic sessions, laboratory classes, computer labs, and other University academically supported areas.

LATE PAPER/ASSIGNMENT POLICY: Turn in all your assignments on their scheduled due dates. You must submit the final drafts of all essays and their associated process work (critique, reflection, etc.) in Blackboard. NO PROCESS, NO GRADE. Keep a duplicate copy of all assignments you turn in and save all of your files in several locations (flash drive, hard drive, email, etc.). I DO NOT ACCEPT LATE PAPERS OR ASSIGNMENTS.

REVISION: You may rewrite one failing essay (original grade of D or F); the rewritten essay may receive no higher than a “C.” Revision must accompany the original graded copy.

GRADED ESSAYS: All essays for this course are graded electronically. Please see the Turnitin Grademark Feedback video for instructions to obtain the comments and grading rubric for your essay. 

STUDENT E-MAIL: Students are required to obtain and use a JWU e-mail account for University communication and to access my public folders. You must obtain your password to do so. Student accounts are created automatically for those who are active and in good standing. Student email addresses are available through Immediately contact the helpdesk at 1-866-598-4357 if you need assistance. Take care of this the first day of class. Students are expected to maintain an email account throughout the semester and check it daily for important information regarding upcoming assignments, course announcements, etc.

IN-CLASS ASSIGNMENTS: Students will often complete in-class assignments and short writing projects. In-class projects and quizzes are team-based and scheduled for a specific class period and cannot be made up after that class date.

WORKSHOPS: All essays will be critiqued by peer groups in class. Essays without workshop response will drop one full letter grade.

PARTICIPATION: Come to class prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Contribute productively to discussion. Quizzes and in-class writings are usually based on the readings.


WRITING CENTER: Located in the Center for Academic support (Academic Center, 4th floor), the writing center is open to all Johnson & Wales University students who need help with writing, whether they are taking an English course or not. Students are encouraged to seek assistance with essays, research projects, and related assignments. Students are asked to make an appointment with a Writing Center staff member in order to receive prompt assistance. The center provides 30 minute appointments and is staffed from 8:30-2:30 M-R. Consultants work with students on any part of the writing process -- planning, drafting, focusing, organizing, revising, or editing, and with papers from all disciplines. Please do not hesitate to use the tutor’s assistance. Remember to bring a copy of your assignment and your drafts to any Writing Center conference.
Going to the Writing Center does not guarantee you a good grade because tutors will not proofread your papers. The Writing Center’s goal is to improve your overall writing skills (organization, thesis & supporting paragraphs, audience/assignment issues, as well as teaching punctuation and grammar rules after reviewing big picture issues), which sometimes takes several sessions, depending on your existing writing skills. For more information, you may contact them at [email protected]
You may also visit the Center for Academic Support website at:

You can schedule appointments online via JWU LINK.


All students are required to read, understand, and abide by the provisions of the Catalog and Student Handbook applicable to their campus, which can be found at 

In particular, students should be aware of the following university policies:

General Information and Policies
Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment
University Holds

Academic Policies:
Academic Integrity/Academic Integrity Review Process/Turnitin Notification
Occupancy in Class
Outcomes Assessment  

Student Affairs:
Student Code of Conduct 

Student Services:
Center for Academic Support/Services/Students With Disabilities

Alternative format options are available for many types of content in ulearn course sites. You can download course content in formats that work best for you, such as tagged PDFs (for screen readers), HTML, ePub (eBooks), electronic Braille, audio (mp3), and BeeLine reader versions. Download alternative formats by clicking the icon of an "A" with an arrow next to any item in ulearn. See the Alternative Content Formats webpage for more details.

These alternative formats are not a substitute for accommodations. If you need an accommodation for this class, please use the contact information below:

Providence and Online: Accessibility Services, 401-598-4660, [email protected]
Charlotte: Center for Academic Support, Academic Center Suite 410, 980-598-1500, [email protected] 

Johnson & Wales University supports all students’ academic needs. Students with documented disabilities interested in accommodations and/or auxiliary services must contact Accessibility Services, meet with an Accessibility Services advisor, and together complete an Accommodation Agreement. Students are encouraged to speak privately with their professors regarding their academic accommodations. Contact Accessibility Services at for campus-specific information including office location and contact number.