UNC Asheville Hosts Eighth Biennial Academic Conference on GLBTQ Studies March 26-28; Filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell and Poet Joan Larkin to Speak
Wed, 03/18/2009 - 12:00am
UNC Asheville will host its eighth biennial Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (GLBTQ) Studies Conference on campus March 26-28, 2009. This year’s conference, "Queer Art/Queer Action (Politics of Possibility)," will focus on the interrelationships between artistic expression, political activism and academic inquiry.
The national academic conference will offer panels, workshops and papers by some 50 faculty and students from a host of universities, including University of California-Davis, University of Cincinnati, San Francisco State University, Indiana University-Bloomington, George Mason University, Georgia State University, University of Bristol (England), University of Alberta (Canada), University of South Australia, Tennessee State University, and UNC-Wilmington.
GLBTQ Studies, Queer Studies and Gender Studies emerged as an academic discipline in the 1970s. Scholarly work in this interdisciplinary field draws on a number of academic areas, including history, literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology, art, music, political science and philosophy to study the diversity of human experience. Among the colleges and universities with GLBTQ or Gender Studies programs are Yale University, Dartmouth College, DePaul University, UC-Berkeley and UCLA.
This year's conference at UNC Asheville will feature three noted speakers: filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell, poet Joan Larkin, and law professor/activist Dean Spade. All three talks are open to the public.
> John Cameron Mitchell will screen his award-winning film, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," and follow with a question-and-answer session, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26, in UNC Asheville's Humanities Lecture Hall. Mitchell, who wrote, directed and starred in the film, received the Best Director and Audience awards at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival for his work. The film was named one of the top 10 films in 2001 by the New York Times. Mitchell also won Best Directorial Debut from the National Board of Review, the Gotham Awards and the L.A. Film Critics Association. He received a 1999 Obie Award for Writing and Performance for the original Off-Broadway staging of Hedwig. The event is open to the public; admission is $10 at the door.
> Joan Larkin will give a keynote address at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 27, at Reuter Center on the UNC Asheville campus. Larkin's most recent work is "My Body: New and Selected Poems." Her previous books include "Housework," "A Long Sound,” and "Cold River," winner of the Lambda Award for poetry. Larkin co-founded the independent press Out & Out Books as part of the feminist literary explosion of the 1970s and co-edited a number of groundbreaking anthologies. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has served on the writing faculties of Brooklyn, Sarah Lawrence, Goddard, and New England colleges. Larkin's talk is free and open to the public.
> Dean Spade, an assistant professor of law at Seattle University, will speak on "Beyond Recognition: Trans Politics and Law Reform on a Neoliberal Landscape" at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 28, in Karpen Hall 038. Previously, Spade was a Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School, teaching classes related to sexual orientation and gender identity law and law and social movements. In 2002, Spade founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (www.srlp.org), an innovative non-profit law collective focused on gender, racial and economic justice. SRLP provides free legal services to low-income people and people of color facing gender identity and/or expression discrimination. Spade's current research interests include the impact of the War on Terror on transgender rights, the bureaucratization of trans identities, and models of non-profit governance in social movements. Spade's talk is free and open to the public.
Community members who are interested in attending all conference sessions may purchase community day passes for $20 per day in Karpen Hall lobby during the conference. Day passes do not include meals. For more information, advance registration and a complete conference schedule, go to www.unca.edu/queer/.