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Bowdoin to Host Two-Day 'Tomorrow's Parties: A Queer Americanist Colloquium'

Story posted April 23, 2010

Julie Heffernan, Self Portrait in the Bedroom, 2003, oil on canvas, 67 3/4 x 60 inches. Courtesy of the artist and PPOW Gallery, New York.

Prominent scholars in the overlapping fields of queer studies and American studies will gather at Bowdoin Friday and Saturday, April 30 and May 1, 2010, for the two-day conference "Tomorrow's Parties: A Queer Americanist Colloquium." Unless otherwise noted, all events will take place in the Faculty Room, Massachusetts Hall, and are free and open to the public.

An important recent development in queer studies has been a turn to considerations of temporality—of time—as a way to reimagine questions about sex and history, the body and social life, and the place of queer people in the stories we tell about the past and, especially, the future. Conference participants will gather to consider which questions, and which thinkers, are now the most pressing for queer Americanist work as it moves forward.

The keynote address will be delivered by Kathryn Bond Stockton, professor of English at the University of Utah, on Friday at 7 p.m. in Lancaster Lounge, Moulton Union. Her talk is titled "Kid Orientalism: American Children, HIV, and the Sexual Child in a Racialized World." Stockton was the 2007 winner of the Crompton-Noll Prize for Best Essay in Gay and Lesbian Studies, and was a finalist for the 2007 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies.

In addition to introductions and discussions led by Bowdoin faculty members, the schedule will include the following presentations:


9 a.m.-11 a.m.

  • "Voices from the Void: Psycho-phone Messages and Other Queer Sounds" by Molly McGarry, associate professor of History, University of California–Riverside
  • "Scattered Speculations on Queer Futures" by Kara Keeling, assistant professor, University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts

12:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

  • "Angels in (Mexican) America" by Jordan Alexander Stein, assistant professor of English, University of Colorado
  • "Realizing Trilby: Potentiality and Publicity in Late James" by Katherine Biers, assistant professor of English and comparative literature, Columbia University

2:45 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

  • "Whitman's Children" by Peter Coviello, associate professor of English, Bowdoin College
  • "A Brief History of Erotohistoriography" by Elizabeth Freeman, associate professor of English, University of California–Davis


9:30 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

  • "Yesterday's Parties: Ghost World, Spectrality, and the Politics of Anachronism" by Pamela Thurschwell, senior lecturer in English, University of Sussex, England
  • "Touching, Clinging, Haunting, Worlding: On the Spirit Photograph" by Dana Luciano, associate professor of English and director of the women's and gender studies program, Georgetown University

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

  • Roundtable discussion

The colloquium is sponsored by the Department of English, the programs in Africana Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and Gender and Women's Studies, and the Office of the Dean for Academic Affairs.

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