A GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE ON SEXUALITY AND GENDER
Royce Hall, UCLA
Saturday, 16 October 2004
Our sixth annual conference is devoted to research and other work in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, on queer topics, sexuality and gender by graduate students in all fields. QGrad provides an opportunity for graduate students to meet and exchange ideas on their research with each other and with scholars from southern California universities.
In addition to regular panel presentations, QGrad 2004 will have Open Workshops, led by distinguished scholars:
- Roderick A. Ferguson (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Critical Theory, Race, and Sexuality
- Richard Meyer (University of Southern California)
- Jennifer Terry (University of California, Irvine)
Boundary Transgressions of Gender, Sexuality, and Nation
After graduate student panels during the day, the conference will conclude with a Faculty Scholars Panel “Fashioning a Q-Career” (5:00-6:00pm in Royce 314), followed by a reception.
There is no admission fee or pre-registration required for QGrad. The conference is open to the public; parking at UCLA costs $7/day.
NEW THIS YEAR!
QGrad 2004 has been organized in conjunction with the FIRST QFAC CONFERENCE at the University of Southern California, which will be held on Friday, October 15, 2004. QFac will feature lectures and plenary panels with distinguished scholars on topics ranging from “History” to “American Studies.” QFac will be free and open to the public.
Participants in QGrad are encouraged to arrive in Los Angeles one day early to attend the QFac conference.
Participants in QFac will also participate in the QGrad conference as moderators for the regular panels.
See QFac schedule and location.
Parking is available in UCLA Parking Structure 3 at a cost of $7 per day. Go to the parking kiosk at Hilgard Avenue & Wyton Dr. (one block of Sunset Blvd), let them know you are attending Qgrad Conference in Royce Hall & want to park in Lot 3.
LA Lodging & Transportation Information
8:45 – 9:15 am
SESSION ONE 9:15-10:40 am
(1A) Queer Bodies
9:15 – 10:40 am
Moderator: Chris Coffman, English, Cal State Bakersfield
Garrulously Mute: Trajectories of the Body in Medieval Relics and Contemporary Art
Stefanie Snider (Art History, USC)
Medieval relics and contemporary artworks by Felix Gonzalez-Torres are objects deeply embedded within representational discourses of the body in their respective cultures and time periods. They are composed of immediately tangible, yet simultaneously ephemeral components that position the body within several seemingly paradoxical notions, among them public and private, fragment and whole, life and death, individual and communal, souvenir and collection. This paper considers the fragmented body within these and the related discourses of power, health, illness, and memory.
Queer Theory Without Queers?: Dieting Confessions, Fat Chicks, and Academic Marketability
Sarah Tillery, (Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)
What does it mean to do queer theory without queers? Drawing from an unpublished article, “Dieting Confessions and the Thin Imaginary,” this presentation will show how queer theory is mobilized outside the confines of a specifically named “queer” subject and what consequence (both advantageous and not) this has for queer studies and for marketing oneself as a queer scholar. What does it mean to claim and label knowledge that has currency and value for some and very little for others?
Queering MYself: Performance Art as Site for Social Growth and Learning
Gabriel G.E. Washington (Art Education, Pennsylvania State University)
The presentation of this paper is constructed in the form of a performance art work. This paper as a performance will raise questions about what it means to be “in conversations” on homosexuality. It will also raise a critical challenge to traditional notions of talk. The goal of this work is to use communication to investigate, speculate, express, tell stories, and ask questions about the spaces between the author and reader; audience and artist; you and me in conversations on homosexuality.
(1B) Representing Lesbians
9:15 – 10:40 am
Moderator: Jody Greene, Literature, UC Santa Cruz
Re-imagining the Past and Future of Multiracial Los Angeles in the Lesbian Fiction of Nina Revoyr’s Southland
Olivia Banner (English, UCLA)
Using Anne Cheng’s theory that the process of coming into a minority racial identity involves a melancholy so deep as to shape subjectivity, I argue that in Nina Revoyr’s Southland, the novel’s protagonist discovers, through the work of detection, the mourning, grief, and violence that defines her family’s racial history, and her Asian American family’s interconnections with African American Los Angeles. The novel narrativizes the lesbian and ethnic identity “development” theme along the lines of heterosociality, questioning the clearly boundaried spaces of queer and hetero identity in much the same way that it questions the boundaries that mark off (and thus separate) the imagined spaces of minority communities from each other.
Maybe She Has Her Reasons: Spike Lee’s She Hate Me and the Role of the “Lesbian Consultant”
Candace Moore, (Critical Studies in Film, Television, and Digital Media, UCLA)
In an effort to deflect criticisms, Lee has made much of the fact that he hired a lesbian consultant during the making of his flop, She Hate Me-hated by critics for, among other things, its implication that lesbians do not exist. I will investigate the phenomenon of the “lesbian consultant” in relation to Lee’s specific narrative choices, to She Hate Me’s failed PR campaign, and more broadly to the use of “identity consultants” by industry films depicting minorities.
Fabulousness as Fetish: Queer Politics in Sex and the City
Cristy Turner (Cultural Studies, UC Davis)
Riding the “queer current,” Sex and the City idealizes notions of “fabulousness”embodied in the consumption-driven culture of single, white women and their gay male sidekicks. This fabulousness is constituted through wealth and whiteness, as well as homonormativity and the effacement of queer black subcultures. Employing a disidentificatory reading, how might the show’s female characters be recoded as gay men? Or further, as foils to the Black transsexual prostitutes they are juxtaposed against in the episode, “Cock a Doodle Doo!”
(1C) Queer Spaces
9:15 – 10:40 am
Moderator: Mary Thomas, Geography, UCLA
IMRU? Becoming Queer and Queerly Unbecoming in Young Adult Spaces
Tami K. Dolan (Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)
The “queering” of lesbian and gay young adult novels offers a commentary on how queer theory and queer activism permeate material gay and lesbian artistic products. I touch on the history and trajectory of LG YA novels, and focus on recent novels to speculate how the “queering” of texts might impact young adult readers. Lastly, I posit that it is crucial to investigate how these texts, as sites of generational transmission, promote a queer cultural ideology that at times obfuscates both gay and lesbian history and material realities of queer youth.
Queer Pedagogy and Higher Education: Space(s) of (im)Possibility
Ryan Evely Gildersleeve (Education and Information Studies, UCLA)
Queer pedagogy-based on such central queer theory tenets as discursive performativity, subjective intersectionality, disruption of heteronormativity, and corporeal inclusion-provides a new medium for addressing marginalization and inequity in education. I put forth a queer praxis that could provide liberatory spaces of possibility in higher education. In particular, within the teaching and learning processes of colleges and universities, I see the intentional texturing of purpose, place, and practice as elements of queer pedagogy with liberatory potential.
SESSION TWO 10:50 am – 12:15pm
(2A) Trans Identities
10:50 am – 12:15pm
Moderator: Talia Bettcher, Philosphy, Cal State Los Angeles
Interrogating Bodies: Discourse and Violence in Stone Butch Blues
Cynthia Degnan (English, UC Davis)
This paper examines the interactions between discourse and violence as forms of social control in Stone Butch Blues. It focuses on the ways in which those who refuse to recognize the validity of Jess’s gender identity use discourse to turn Jess’s body into an a text that cannot be named and therefore lies beyond acceptable gender identities. Violence reinforces discursive methods by forcing Jess into traditionally female roles in order to enforce a binary system of gender identification.
‘Quaring’ Queer Citizenship: Foregrounding an Asian/Pacific American U.S. Immigrant Trans Subjectivity
Joyleen V. Sapinoso (Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, College Park)
Queer citizenship is being pushed to the foreground, through the struggle over legalization of same-sex marriage and the approaching presidential election. While acknowledging the importance of legal aspects of queer citizenship, I argue that it is of vital importance to call into question who are understood as queer citizens, and to examine assumptions of legal U.S.
What’s to Tell?: Stealth Men, Identity, and Workplace Disclosure
Kristen Schilt (Sociology, UCLA)
Research suggests that coming out as gay or lesbian at work increases job satisfaction, as workers are able to express their “true” selves at work. This paper considers the question of workplace disclosure focusing on the experience of transsexual and transgender individuals Based on in-depth interviews with transsexual/transgender men who are not out at work, I argue that to not disclose at work for gays and lesbians is represented in the literature as moving away from a “true” identity of homosexual; however, for the men in my study, not disclosing at work is seen as moving toward, or at least maintaining, their “true” identity of male.
(2B) Selves and Shelves:
LGBT Staff and Materials in US Libraries
10:50 am – 12:15pm
Moderator: Jonathan Furner, Library and Information Studies, UCLA
Evolving Labels: Library Subject Classification of LGBT Books
Kasey Eng (Library and Information Studies, UCLA)
This presentation explores how LGBT books have been and are currently categorized by the Library of Congress. The discussion will also touch upon how after gay-rights activism in 1970s, a shift occurred in LGBT classification. The LGBT books were no longer linked to sexual perversion.
The Significance of LGBT Librarians: OUT Selves Among the Shelves
Candace Lewis (Library and Information Studies, UCLA)
Through interviews, I examine the impact of librarians who openly identify their lesbian, gay or bisexual orientation or their transgender identity in library workplaces. My research demonstrates that “Out” librarians play an essential role: -identifying the presence of an often invisible LGBT patron base; -communicating the scope of LGBT issues for the purposes of better classification, access, reference, collection development; -and safeguarding professional ethics which ensure users’ rights to privacy, confidentiality and intellectual freedom.
Library Services and Outreach to LGBT Teens
Pauline Neilly (Library and Information Studies, UCLA)
Are We or Aren’t We in Kansas Anymore? A Historical Consideration of Libraries and Information Centers as LGBT-Friendly Workplaces
Sarah Oester (Library and Information Studies, UCLA)
The history of lesbigays librarians; problems of methodology, professional ambiguity in context of the evolution of the homosexual identity. Formation of the American Library Association in 1890, libraries proliferate, giving lesbigays librarians a viable alternative to marriage. There are few records of early lesbigay librarians, some letters miraculously survive like the activist Lillian Smith. By 1969 Stonewall had given homosexuals an identity, and lesbigay librarians found their voice. The ALA became the first professional organization in 1971 to recognize LGBT employees.
(2C) Violent Encounters
10:50 am – 12:15pm
Moderator: Erika Laine Austin, Health Risk Reduction Projects, UCLA
Queering the Transit: Neo-Colonial Globalization and Heteronormative Nationalism
Chuan Chen (Comparative Literature, UC Irvine)
The recent exposure of prisoner torture at Abu Ghaib prison, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have brought to the foreground the violent procedures immanent within the “civil” project of bringing democracy to the world. In particular, disseminated photos of the sexualized de-humanization of prisoners in Abu Ghaib stage a node of foreclosure involving two entangled “axes” of exclusion. My paper will engage in readings of disparate yet convergent texts that underscore the node of enforced (neo)colonial and sexual translation within the current globalization of neo-liberal forms of democracy, while posing the possibility of re-imagining and re-inscribing democracy, universalism, and human rights for their predicative specters, or for what Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has called the spectralized social subjectivity within Enlightenment concepts.
Exploring Violence Involving Sexual Minorities in Japan
Anthony DiStefano (Public Health, UCLA)
This exploratory study uses an ethnographic research framework to describe how sexual minorities in Japan understand violence that they perpetrate or that is directed against them. It further characterizes the sociocultural environment in Japan that might facilitate or mitigate these forms of violence. Results indicate that bashing, intimate partner violence, intrafamily violence, and self-harm/suicide are prevalent. The data suggest that specific sociocultural variables act as risk factors for the expression of violence, while others act as protective factors.
The Road to Laramie: Matthew Shepard and the Sentimentality of Collective Mourning
Megan M. Stocker (Women’s Studies, Ohio State University)
This paper explores collective memory and mourning and how sentimentality affects public mourning and sympathy or empathy. I use as example the very public reaction to Matthew Shepard’s death, and provide discourse analysis of the visual ways he was presented by the media, as well as the ways he has been remembered through popular song and poetry. I am interested in examining factors that determine for whom we mourn and publicly remember.
(2D) Visual Culture Open Workshop
10:50 am -12:15pm
Commentator: Richard Meyer, Art History, USC
“History is a Genre”: Ambiguity and Visual Culture in the Art of Kara Walker
Rebecca Peabody (History of Art and African American Studies, Yale University)
This paper proposes a new approach to the art of controversial artist Kara Walker. Taking ambiguity as my point of departure, I argue for a conception of her work as fundamentally interactive. I suggest that she is not “working with stereotypes” but rather alluding to them strategically in order to implicate the viewer. I ask how different audiences “remember” slavery, and suggest that popular culture and shared visual memory play a significant role in creating history, and reading Walker’s work.
Leaving the Celluloid Closet
Nicholas A. DeVilliers (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota)
My paper is a critique of the dominance of the “politics of representation” approach used by Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet, the film based on his book, and GLAAD. I also look for other approaches to queer spectatorship and the promiscuous pleasures of the cinema, such as a queer “oppositional gaze” (only hinted at by the documentary), and Barthes’s “Leaving the Movie Theater.” As an alternative to Russo’s approach, I consider the final scene of Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure as a camp version of queer spectatorship.
LUNCH 12:15 – 1:00 pm
(Box Lunches available for panelists and moderators only in Royce 306. Prior registration required.)
Conversation with Roderick A. Ferguson
Abberrations in Black:
Rod Ferguson in Conversation
with Judith Halberstam
1:00 – 1:40pm
SESSION THREE 1:50-3:15 pm
(3A) Community Relations
1:50 – 3:15 pm
Karen Tongson, English, USC
“Go West, Young Man, and Grow with the Country!”: Popular Music and the Construction of Masculine Queer Nationality
Ross Joseph Fenimore (Musicology, UCLA)
How does music define a nation; moreover, how does music define a “Queer Nation?” Central to queer nation mythology, and indicative of mythologies of the American west, is the concept of voyage to a free, uninhibited space. I will consider traditional definitions of nationalism and explore the ways queer nationality tends to elude boundaries. This paper tracks queer nationality in the music of Judy Garland, the Village People, the Pet Shop Boys, and film music tropes of the American west.
Community Standard Deviation: Alex Donis Censored
George Flaherty (History of Art and Architecture, UC Santa Barbara)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what of a taboo one? What is its mode of address, its medium? Taking a queer Chicano artist’s censorious “community” reception as a cue, my paper interrogates the spectacularization of looking in not looking as a mode of critical address for so-called minority artists operating within the context of U.S. identity politics, in which official recognition and public image are incessantly conflated; demanding a single, absolute image of the body politic. Can censorship offer a sly mode of address for a taboo subject(ivity)?
Queer and Southern: Re-Telling Stories of Identity
Sarah Helen Stanton (Women’s Studies, Emory University)
This paper situates the experiences and constructions of southern women’s queer identities within broader histories of sexuality in the U.S. Queer southern women’s life histories call for new concepts of queerness as they address those sites that have until recently been seen as un-queer, not-queer, or even anti-queer. A focus on the southern queer subject illuminates dynamic processes of identity formation, as women simultaneously rely upon, resist, and re-fashion constructions of queerness and southernness.
(3B) Stage, Screen, and Couch
1:50 – 3:15 pm
Moderator: Gayatri Gopinath, Women’s Studies, UC Davis
Anal Sex: Life and Death in Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and Fucking
Nicole Eschen (Critical Studies in Theater, UCLA)
In the play Shopping and Fucking, Mark Ravenhill uses the dirtiest and most pleasurable associations of anal sex to transgress the limits of acceptable sexual pleasure by literally enacting the “association of anal sex with self annihilation” (Bersani 222). In this paper, I will use Leo Bersani’s and Georges Bataille’s discussions of the relationship between sex and death to analyze anal sex throughout Shopping and Fucking as an attribute of queer sexuality that affirms both life and destruction.
Internal Borders, or De-translating the Construction of Male Homosexuality: Tsai Ming-liang’s The Hole and the Imaging of “Okama” in Contemporary Japan
Tatsuya Matsumura (History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz)
Discussing The Hole (1998), a feature film by Tsai Ming-liang shooting in Taiwan, I delineate the question of “sexual difference” within gay studies to interrogate the effects of gender in the construction of gay male subject. I address the possibility of the reworking of Freudian concepts after Foucauldian constructivism. Aiming to articulate my enunciative position, I read the film via the analysis of the Japanese imaging of “okama,” one of the injurious names which interpellate gay males in contemporary Japan.
(Only) In Her Dreams: Performing Gender and Sexuality in Mulholland Drive
Maria San Filippo (Critical Studies in Film, Television, and Digital Media, UCLA)
Mulholland Drive is above all a movie about the movies. David Lynch’s self-reflexive foregrounding of performance reveals the link between cinematic illusion and societal constructions of female identity. The film’s Hollywood milieu serves as ideological microcosm to critique binary strategies of representation and spectatorship and to question essentialist notions of gender and sexuality. Lynch’s dreamlike text operates as a “return of the repressed,” imagining a utopian vision of female agency and fluid desire amidst a dystopian reality onscreen and off.
(3C) Art vs. Sexuality: New York City, 1950-1975
1:50 – 3:15 pm
Robert Rauschenberg: Popular Culture and Identity
Thomas Folland, (Art History, UCLA)
Robert Rauschenberg’s early work has been situated by gay art historians as an exemplar of coded signifying practices in the 1950s in which gay culture subverted and evaded normative modes of representation. Postmodern art historians, on the other hand, have argued against such readings, insisting on the indecipherability of his work. A queer reading of Rauschenberg, as I will argue, would situate his work more problematically-but more productively-within a critical context of modernism.
The Lesbian Grotesque: Excess Within Absence in the Dance Criticism of Jill Johnston
Sara Wolf (World Arts and Cultures, UCLA)
Sixties Village Voice dance writer Jill Johnston was the first lesbian to come out in a mass media publication. Yet even while “in the closet,” Johnston’s sexuality informed her subversion of critical conventions. This paper investigates Johnston’s lesbianism as it appears in her work as a site of absence, excess, and absence-within-excess-the lesbian grotesque. I further examine the lesbian grotesque as a tactic for living “in absentia” as a lesbian in the pre-feminist, pre-gay liberation New York dance scene.
(3D) Boundary Transgressions of Gender, Sexuality, and Nation Open Workshop
1:50 – 3:15 pm
Commentator: Jennifer Terry, Women’s Studies, UC Irvine
The Law and the Freak-Show: Managing Cross-Dressing in 1890s San Francisco
Clare Sears (Sociology, UC Santa Cruz)
In 1890s San Francisco, cross-dressing was a criminal offense under a local law that prohibited public appearance in “a dress not belonging to his or her sex.” During this decade, however, the City’s dime museums prominently displayed cross-dressing women as freak-show exhibits in seeming contradiction with the law. In this presentation, I consider the case of Milton Matson, who was displayed as cross-dressing woman in an 1895 freak-show, to analyze the law and the freak-show’s approaches to managing cross-dressing’s visibility.
International Sexual Trafficking: Constructing Citizenship in the United States
Jamie Small (Human Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University)
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, journalists, advocacy groups, and Western policy makers have become increasingly concerned about the “international sex slave trade.” This notion of forced sex work occurring across national boundaries captivates public attention. Reviewing representations of sexual trafficking in the United States public sphere, I will argue that fascination with sexual trafficking masks larger social anxieties concerning race, gender, and sexuality. Distinguishing proper sexuality from that which is deviant, discourse on sexual trafficking then becomes a basis for U.S. citizenship and exclusion.
Maiden’s Prayer: Representations of Teenage Lesbians in Taiwan
Chun-Chi Wang (Cinema-Television Critical Studies, USC)
By examining the representations of three recent media texts from Taiwan, A Dance with Two Girls, Voice of Waves, and Blue Gate Crossing, I would argue that the use of shou pa chiao, a concept which could smuggle female same-sex relations under social surveillance in a Confucianist society, now becomes an alibi for denying teenage lesbian relations to transform into a social relationship in adulthood. I will attempt in this paper to locate the struggles over lesbian representation in its cultural context to encounter the utopian view on the increasing production of gay and lesbian films.
SESSION FOUR 3:25-4:50 pm
(4A) Rewriting Masculinity
3:25 – 4:50 pm
Moderator: Arthur Little, English, UCLA
“Kept Boys” and the Hustle of Masculine Privilege in James Baldwin’s Another Country
Jacquelin Asher (English, UC Riverside)
In James Baldwin’s Another Country, the term “boy” registers the effect of race and sexuality upon the terms of masculinity. At once familiar and pejorative, “boy” suggests the limits of imagining masculine subordination as a means of ascending to masculine privilege. From Rufus’s weary complaint, “I’m not the boy you want, mister” to Baldwin’s representation of “kept boy” Yves, the complexities of coercion, violence and pleasure evoked by Baldwin suggests the intricacies of dependency between men.
Sacrificing Sexualities in the Gothic Schoolrooms of “Secret Worship,” Voodoo Academy, and The Brotherhood
L. Andrew Cooper (English, Princeton University)
This paper will explore how Algernon Blackwood’s short story “Secret Worship” and film director David DeCoteau’s Voodoo Academy and The Brotherhood employ Gothic motifs to represent the power of academic settings to shape minds, identities, and sexualities. It will contrast the submerged sexuality of Blackwood’s 1908 story with the blatant eroticism of DeCoteau’s recent films, foregrounding the ways the latter repeats and humorously subverts the phobic didacticism of the former.
In Through the Out-Door: The Crisis of Masculinity in Cather’s The Professor’s House
Jonna H. Iacono (English, Brown University)
This paper examines Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House in light of the turn of the 20th century crisis of masculinity in the U.S., from the passage of the Comstock Act of 1873 up until the Great War. Cather’s novel, I contend, imagines in the figure of Tom Outland what it means when character is turned into a function of landscape and men must map themselves into a monolithic model of masculinity created by prohibitions and reforms aimed at defining/destroying indecency.
(4B) How to Do the History of Male Homosexuality
3:25 – 4:50 pm
Moderator: David M. Halperin, University of Michigan
Homoeroticsm and Seventeenth-Century Musical Style
Philip Gentry (Musicology, UCLA)
Recent scholarship has noted a characteristic sense of “sacred eroticism” prevalent in the seventeenth-century musical style known as seconda prattica. Much of this music was also homoerotic: there are literally hundreds of musical works by male composers addressed to the male figure of Christ, written in a particularly erotic style, and originating in cities noted for their sodomitical undergrounds. Analyzing examples of such music, this paper sketches out some of the forms homoeroticism took in music of the early seventeenth-century.
“The Golden Age of Gay Porn”: Wilhelm von Gloeden and the Fantasy of a Historical Homosexuality
Jason Goldman (Art History, USC)
German aristocrat Wilhelm von Gloeden (1856-1931) is frequently cited as the first “gay” photographer of the male nude. Working in Sicily at the turn of the century, von Gloeden tenaciously modeled his sexuality after a historical example, emulating ancient pederasty in his pictures and his private life. The paper examines the interplay of erotic fantasy and historical citation in von Gloeden’s photographs and, in turn, the nostalgic historical packaging that has made the artist a provocative exemplar of fin de siècle homosexuality.
Richard Barnfield and Homoerotic Literary History
Samuel See (English, UCLA)
Of the scant critical attention given to the Renaissance poet Richard Barnfield, few writers have explored the historical consequences of Barnfield’s invocation of Virgil’s Second Eclogue in the “apology” with which he opens Cynthia (1595), his second book of verse. In fact, most critics believe that Barnfield’s apology is an excuse for his poetry’s homoeroticism by way of classical precedent. In this paper, I will argue instead that Barnfield invokes Virgil to subvert Renaissance models of
classical precedent and to establish a tradition of homoerotic literature in the English language.
(4C) Viewing and Knowing
3:25 – 4:50 pm
Moderator: Eve Oishi, Women’s Studies, Cal State Long Beach
The Queer Affects of Chat: Stepping Out of the Archive
M. Legier Biederman (Art History, UCLA)
This paper will focus on the video art of queer, Turkish born, transnational, Kutlug Ataman, which, I argue, encourages an interrogation of our normative social and corporeal relationships to, as well as constructions of, history, gender, sexuality, race, and class. Drawing on the problematic structure and history of documentary, Never My Soul (2001), which stars a beautiful Turkish, transgender sex worker, queers the genre’s conventions, and opens up a space in which we can re-imagine alternative ways of performing the self-of thinking about how we come to “know” ourselves as well as others.
Let Them Eat Cake
Jessica Lawless (Studio Arts, UC Irvine)
This session centers on the screening of a short video in progress, “Let Them Eat Cake.” The video responds to the acceptance and then removal of my work from a GLBT [sic] art exhibit at a Catholic university in San Diego. The project explores “queer” vs. “gay,” building community vs. policing community, and ways that art circulates and is consumed. Cake will be served.
Uncanny Drag: Devon Cass’ Cher Celebrity Impersonation
Tina Majkowski (Performance Studies, New York University)
In this paper I begin to think about drag as somehow uncanny. When Freud posits that the uncanny object was once familiar but made strange through the process of repression, to me, this signals a distinction of temporal zones. The uncanny can, perhaps, be understood as the experience of the specter of the past in a moment of the present; a torsion of temporal distinctions. If, as Judith Butler contends in Gender Trouble, “gender is tenuously constructed in time,” then temporality offers much in our discussion of gender and drag performance. For if gender happens in time to the extent that gender cannot be said to happen all at once and is more so the repetition of gendered acts which sediment over time to appear as something that has been there all along, then gender emerges in time as in eventually but maybe also in time as in a linear succession. Here, drag occasions not only the possibility to do gender differently but also to disrupt the seemingly stable delineations between past and present as it relates to the corporealization of time. Indeed, this paper attempts to think anew both the queer attachment to drag as well as drag performance practices/strategies.
(4D) Critical Theory, Race and Sexuality
3:25 – 4:50 pm
Commentator: Roderick A. Ferguson, American Studies,
University of Minnesota
“What Kind of Cunt Do You Really Want to Be?” Gender, Performance, and Queer World-Making in New York City Black and Latina/o Ballroom House Culture
Frank Leon Roberts (Performance Studies, NYU)
Drawing from fourteen months of ethnography research, this presentation elucidates the complicated sex/gender/kinship system of contemporary New York City underground house culture-the alternative kinship community of Black and Latina/o New Yorkers of various genders (mis)represented in Jennifer Livingston’s 1991 documentary Paris Is Burning. The presentation-which features footage from the elaborate and explosive “balls” these men and women hold-discusses the ways in which this still thriving, vibrant community allows for the creation of new, black and Latina/o queer counterpublics in contemporary urban New York City.
Whose Mecca? Spatial Management of LGBTQQ Homeless Youth and the Castro Public
Jen Reck, Sociology (UC Santa Cruz)
This paper examines recent battles over the presence of LGBTQQ homeless youth in San Francisco’s Castro. Through interviews with LGBTQQ homeless youth of color, I explore operations of power expressed through struggles over access to the Castro’s public and institutional space. This research considers how geographic marginalization of San Francisco’s homeless queer and trans youth of color reveals the constant reworking of the meanings of place, clashes over definitions of community, and normalization processes defining acceptable performance of queer identities.
Faculty Scholars Panel:
Fashioning a Q-Career
David Halperin, University of Michigan
Ricardo Ortiz, Georgetown University
Judith Halberstam, University of Southern California
Karen Tongson, University of Southern California
5:00 – 6:00 pm
6:00 – 7:00 pm
the Division of Humanities, the Division of Social Sciences,
the Center for the Study of Women,
the Chicano Studies Research Center,
and the departments of
Anthropology, Art History, Asian Languages and Cultures, Comparative Literature, Critical Studies/Film, Television & Digital Media, English, Musicology, and Spanish & Portuguese.