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Gay and Lesbian Studies

Calendar of Events

Zen Browne Exhibit

Zen Browne Exhibit

February 6, 20148:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Blue Gallery

Exhibit in the Blue Gallery of Smith Union 
February 6 – 28

Opening reception in the Blue Gallery on 
February 6 at 4:30 pm

Zen Browne is visual artist whose current work focuses on oil paintings of transmale figures. These portraits of female-to-male transsexuals meditate on identity and serve to counteract the underrepresentation of the transsexual experience in visual culture. Moreover, these paintings also mirror Browne's own sense of selfhood, both artistically and personally. 

Where Browne's past work has documented a self-expression in flux through allegorical representations, his adopting of the portrait form serves to ground these themes in transformation of everyday life, producing representations of friends and acquaintances of various races and ethnicities that are at once intimate and real. The portraits - 12 in total, ranging in size from 24" x 48" to 48" x 49" - strive to locate a commonality on the plane of human experience, while initiating a constructive dialogue about the spectrum and self-expression of gender and racial identity. 

This exhibit coincides with the programming schedule for a month-long series of events devoted to issues related to LGBTQ visibility, politics, and culture. Collectively, these events are known as "Februqueery."

Sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Studies Program, Visual Arts, Bowdoin Queer Straight Alliance, Burnett House, Lectures & Concerts, and the Resource Center for Gender & Sexual Diversity.

Open to the public.

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Discussion Panel with artist Zen Browne

Discussion Panel with artist Zen Browne

February 27, 20147:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Burnett House, Living Room

The panelist will discuss trans experiences and media representation, and closes the exhibit in the Blue Gallery of Smith Union.



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Lecture: Who Was Mary Webb?

Lecture: Who Was Mary Webb?

March 3, 20145:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Mary Webb was a black female elocutionist who toured Britain in 1856 as Harriet Beecher Stowe's public reader. Not enough is known about Mrs. Webb, the daughter of a fugitive slave who was one of the earliest professional African American performers. 


Laura Korobkin is Associate Professor of English at Boston University, and author of Criminal Conversations: Stories of Adultery and the Law in Late 19th Century America.


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Hawaiian Hip Hop, Drag Queens, and the Refusal of Aloha

Hawaiian Hip Hop, Drag Queens, and the Refusal of Aloha

April 24, 20147:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Adams Hall, Room 208

F-you aloha, I love you: Hawaiian Hip Hop, Drag Queens, and the Refusal of Aloha

Lani Teves, PhD in American culture, weaves together indigenous studies, critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies, and Pacific studies in her work. She is a postdoc at the University of California-Berkeley.

Join us:

Thursday, April 24th
7:00 p.m.
Adams Hall 208


In Hawaii, the spirit of aloha is pervasive, and it is mobilized to sell everything from hula skirts to fantasies of diversity to plumbing to same-sex marriage. Loosely defined as love, aloha is frequently used as a greeting and moniker of Hawaiianness. Hawaii state law even sanctions aloha, advising lawmakers to consider the aloha spirit in the workplace. Promoted as the so-called seminal Hawaiian concept of love and inclusion, the extraction of aloha from Hawaiian culture, works to obscure troubling material realities that marginalize Native Hawaiians. At the same time, Native Hawaiians deeply believe in aloha and perform it because we believe that aloha connects us to our ancestors. In this talk, she weaves together Marxist, post-colonial, and performance theory to provide a historical and theoretical framing of alohas ideological significance for the state of Hawaii and for Native Hawaiians. She shifts the focus away from disparaging the appropriation of aloha to look instead at the generative tensions that require Native Hawaiians to perform aloha and how Native Hawaiians engage with aloha by performing it. Through a close reading of the work of a Native Hawaiian rapper from a Hawaiian homestead, as well as a Native Hawaiian drag queen, she offers an examination of how aloha is performed and sustained in a manner that evades the optics of the state and tourisms' commodifying gaze.

Sponsored by: the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and the Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund

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Queering Chinese 'Comrades': Film Screening & Discussion

Queering Chinese 'Comrades': Film Screening & Discussion

April 28, 20147:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Monday, April 28
7:00 - 9:30 p.m.
Sills Hall, Smith Auditorium

Cui Zien is China's first independent queer filmmaker and an outspoken queer activist. Queering Chinese 'Comrades' presents a comprehensive historical account of queer culture in China for the last 30 years. The documentary uses exclusive interviews and original film footage to examine how shifting attitudes in law, media, and education have transformed queer culture from an unspeakable taboo to an accepted social identity.

Sponsored by Lectures and Concerts, Asian Studies Program, Film Studies, and Gay & Lesbian Studies.

Free and open to the public.

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