CLAGS Elects Nine New Board Members

Nine individuals representing various communities and interests were elected to CLAGS’s Board of Directors last May, all of whom have already taken on important roles in the administration of our various programs. We would like to officially welcome to the Board: Michelle Adams, George F. Custen, Kay Diaz, lisa Duggan, Elizabeth Freeman, Robin Hackett, John Keene, Douglas Mao, and Rosalba Messina. Below you will find profiles of some of them. In other Board news, Paula Ettelbrick was voted Co-Chair of the Board of Directors in October.

George F. Custen is a professor of communications, theatre, and American Studies at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate School, CUNY. He is the author of Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History (Rutgers, 1992) and Twentieth Century’s Fox: Darryl F. Zannuck and the Culture of Hollywood (Basic Books, 1997), for which he was awarded a john Simon Guggengheim Fellowship in 1995. He is the Series Editor of The Rutgers Series in Communications, Media and Culture. He is currently at work on a history of gay and lesbian Hollywood during the studio era. He lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Montgomery, Vermont with his companion Phillip and their extraordinarily gifted whippet Bette. He is delighted to be joining CLAGS.

Kay Diaz practices law in New York City, and is also an activist and writer. She has written and spoken extensively on the search for the “gay gene” and the intersection of science and culture in shaping both gay self-identity and the law. She also has focused on economic, labor, healthcare issues, and the U.S. media. She served on the Board of Directors of Cay Community News, The Theatre Offensive, and the Advisory Board of Health Care for All’s Legal Work, and was a national organizer of Out & Outraged, the massive civil disobedience action on the U.S. Supreme Court steps in 1987.

Lisa Duggan teaches lesbian and gay studies, and the history of gender and sexuality in the American Studies Program at New York University. She is the co-author with Nan D. Hunter of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture (Routledge, 1995) and the author of Sapphic Slashers: Love, Murder and Lesbian Desire, 1880-1920 (forthcoming, University of California Press). She is currently at work on a book about Jesse Helms and U.S. political culture. She is also a journalist and essayist whose work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the Village Voice, Washington Post, LCNY, Socialist Review, and CLQ. In her activist guise, she has been a founding member of the Feminist Anti-Censorship Taskforce, a roundtable participant/consultant for the NGLTF Policy Institute, and a contributor to several Sex Panic! teach-ins and publications.

Elizabeth Freeman received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Chicago, and was an active member of Chicago’s Coalition for Positive Sexuality until she moved to New York in 1994. She is now Assistant Professor of Literature and Gay/Lesbian Studies at Sarah Lawrence College. She has published articles in Fear of a Queer Planet, Radical Teacher, Arizona Quarterly, and Women and Performance, and is currently working on a book manuscript entitled The Wedding Complex: Sex Norms and Fantasy Forms in Modern American Culture.

Robin Hackett is a doctoral candidate in English at the Graduate School, CUNY. She teaches in the Department of English at Hunter College. Her dissertation, “Modernist Fictions of Sapphic Primitivism,” focuses on the influence of anthropology and sexology in representation of lesbianism in 1930s novels by Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Djuna Barnes, and Willa Cather.

John Keene is a writer and editor. The author of the critically acclaimed novel Annotations (New Directions, 1995), his work has appeared in a variety of newspapers, journals, and magazines such as CCN, Harvard Cay & Lesbian Review, the Washington Post Book World, and in anthologies such as Best American Cay Fiction, Vol. 2 (Little Brown, 1997). He has taught at the secondary school and college levels, and serves as the Writing Consultant at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, where he has just joined the administration of the Faculty Resource Network.

Douglas Mao is Assistant Professor of English at Princeton University, where he specializes in early twentieth-century literature. His first book, Solid Objects: Modernism and the Test of Production, will be published by Princeton University Press in 1998. A member of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Task Force at Princeton, he has given papers on sexuality and race in recent cinema and on homophobia and anthropology. He is currently at work on a study of youth, pathology, and realism that begins with Oscar Wilde.