Spring 2013 Calendar

Why the Political Homophobia of the 1950s?

Why the Political Homophobia of the 1950s?

February 5, 2013 8:00 PM  – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Why the anti-gay repression of the 1950s? One leading answer points to the social impact of the Second World War and post-war demobilization. Far-reaching shifts in gender roles created opportunities for political elites to promote gender conformity. But if society was already deeply homophobic, why were there no gay rights groups before the repression of the 1950s? No such groups emerged in fact until the federal government promoted anti-gay stigma. This talk will describe how and why anti-gay repression broke out within the federal government, creating an era of "straight government" that has taken until the Obama presidency to completely dismantle.

The principal speaker will be Rick Valelly, Claude C. Smith '14 Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, where he has taught since 1993. Professor Valelly is the author of American Politics: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013), The Two Reconstructions: The Struggle for Black Enfranchisement (University of Chicago Press, 2004), and Radicalism in the States: The American Political Economy and the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party (University of Chicago Press, 1989). In 2009 he published Princeton Readings in American Politics. Professor Valelly is currently researching the political development of LGBT rights in the U.S. with a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.

Commenting upon Professor Valelly's talk will be Steve Engel, an Assistant Professor of Politics at Bates College. He is the author of two books, The Unfinished Revolution: Social Movement Theory and the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2001) and American Politicians Confront the Court: Opposition Politics and Changing Responses to Judicial Power (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Professor Engel is currently working on a new book which examines sexuality from a developmental perspective and which aims to shed light on how US governing institutions define the parameters of sexual citizenship and how that process reflexively affects the development of the state.

Sponsored by the Department of Government & Legal Studies with support from the John C. Donovan Lecture Fund. Co-sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program, and The Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity.

Free and open to the public.

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Maine State House Representative Craig Hickman discusses King's Legacy: Family, Community, Prosperity

Maine State House Representative Craig Hickman discusses King's Legacy: Family, Community, Prosperity

February 6, 2013 7:00 PM  – 8:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Representative Craig Hickman was elected in 2012 to represent District 82 covering his hometown of Winthrop and neighboring Readfield, making him only the second African American to serve in the Maine House of Representatives. He is a presidential elector for the state of Maine, an award-winning author, a tennis blogger, and an organic farmer. Hickman graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor?s degree in government. Together with his partner, he operates the Annabessacook Farm Bed & Breakfast and Organic Farm Stand. Representative Hickman campaigned on ending hunger, eliminating regulations for small farms and businesses, and investing in sustainable energy. In 2013 the College will honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy by creating dialogue around the ideas central to King's legacy-the creation of the Beloved Community through collective non-violent struggle to combat poverty.

Co-sponsored by the Department of English, Department of Government and Legal Studies, Africana Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, Bowdoin College Democrats, Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance, African-American Society, Food Co-op, Green Bowdoin Alliance, the Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good, Sustainable Bowdoin, the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the Office of Multicultural Student Programs.

Open to the public. No tickets required. For more information call 207-725-3149.

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"The Political Aesthetics of Drag": Talk by Shaka McGlotten

March 26, 2013 7:30 PM  – 9:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

Shaka McGlotten is an anthropologist and Associate Professor of Media, Society, and the Arts at Purchase College-SUNY. He teaches about digital culture and new media, and studies how media technologies intersect with ideologies of gender, sexuality, and race.

In his public lecture, The Political Aesthetics of Drag, Professor McGlotten will consider drag more broadly as a possible model for nourishing aesthetic forms that creatively respond to the constraints of modern nation-states. From underground dance clubs to galleries and political protests, he contends that these and other theatrical modes of cross-dressing simultaneously operate both at the margins of cultural production and at its centers. Ultimately, these performers, as well as the aesthetic value of their spectacularly staged gender crossings, form part of the larger whole of queer cultural histories as well as globally circulating ideas about queer difference. In the end, Professor McGlotten argues that these theatrical performances are an aesthetic product that invites its participants and audiences to reconsider notions of personal and collective autonomy.

Brought to you by Gay and Lesbian Studies, Africana Studies, and the departments of English and Sociology & Anthropology

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James Smalls, Art Historian - Feral Benga: An African Muse of Homo-Utopia

James Smalls, Art Historian - Feral Benga: An African Muse of Homo-Utopia

April 18, 2013 4:30 PM  – 6:30 PM
Visual Arts Center, Beam Classroom

University of Maryland, Baltimore County art historian James Smalls will speak on the influence of the Senegalese dancer and artist/model Feral Benga on early to mid-twentieth century queer visual representation.

Smalls writes on representations of homosexuality in Western art, with a focus on the intersections of race, gender, and queer sexuality in the art and visual culture of the nineteenth century, as well as the art and visual culture of the black diaspora.

He is the author of Homosexuality in Art (Parkstone Press, 2003) and The Homoerotic Photography of Carl Van Vechten: Public Face, Private Thoughts (Temple University Press, 2006). He has published essays in a number of prominent journals, including American Art, French Historical Studies, Third Text, Art Journal, and Art Criticism.

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, the Gay and Lesbian Studies Program, the English Department, the Art History Department, and the Africana Studies Program.

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