CLAGS’s Two Rockefeller Fellows to Give Minicourses

Charles I. Nero from Bates College, will offer a minicourse at the CUNY Graduate School this fall, entitled “Contemporary Black Gay Expression.” The course will focus on artistic expressions of black American gay men. Specific works to be examined include Marlon Riggs’ Tongues Untied and Randall Kenan’s A Visitation of Spirits. Topics to be discussed include black gay expression and its relationship to African American sermonic traditions and to the ethics and aesthetics of Afrocentricity and black nationalism. Carra Leah Hood, a doctoral candidate in comparative literature at Yale University, will offer a mini-course in the spring, entitled, “Who is Kimberly Bergalis?” The course will examine the moral structures of innocence, guilt, and blame as they intersect with issues of gender and sexuality embedded in the discourse about Kimberly Bergalis’ contraction of H IV from her dentist. In contrast to the construction of her innocent victimization, the course will look at the rhetoric of deviance, intentionality, irresponsibility, and retribution. Questions will be raised, such as: Was Kimberly Bergalis an activist? How did her testimony at the Senate hearings to establish rules of disclosure and standard prophylaxis among health care professionals affect subsequent activist organizations? How, why, and what does it mean for activism to be aligned with issues of identity politics?