News from Beyond

The Committee on LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona is
in the midst of another busy and exciting year. In fall 2003, the
Committee presented the 11th annual Lesbian Looks Film and
Video Series, which brings cutting edge documentaries, experimental
and narrative shorts and independent feature films to the
Tucson community. The Rockefeller-funded Sex, Race and
Globalization Project is hosting its 3rd pair of fabulous fellows:
Ashley Tellis, who works on the formation of queer identities
and activisms in the context of globalization in India, and Laura
Gutierrez, who is working on Unsettling Comforts: Sexualities in
Contemporary Mexicana and Chicana Performance. And they
are gearing up for their annual SRG conference, this year on the
theme Queer Imaginaries, April 16-17. On the curricular front,
they now offer, every semester, a freshman general education
course, “Interdisciplinary Approaches to LGBT Studies,” regularly
offer a graduate seminar in “Queer Theory,” and are working with
Women’s Studies to create an undergraduate LGBT Concentration
within the WS major. But the most exciting news is that it looks
likely that they will be approved to undertake a national search
for a new coordinator. This will be an associate level position and
we are particularly interested in finding someone (in any
humanities or social science field) with expertise in Chicana/o or
Border Studies. So keep your eyes open for the advertisements. u
At the University of Toronto, an undergraduate minor program
in Sexual Diversity Studies was launched over four years ago,
drawing on departmental offerings in the Social Science and
Humanities but also on its own new interdisciplinary core of
courses. Its faculty leadership has come from, among others,
David Rayside (Political Science), Maureen FitzGerald
(Anthropology), Brian Pronger (Physical Education), Fadi
Abou-Rihan (Philosophy), Mariana Valverde (Criminology),
David Townsend (Medieval Studies), and Michael Cobb
(English). It now has over 100 students enrolled in the program
itself, and many more in its courses. It has become one of the
highest profile interdisciplinary programs in this very large
university, and the most substantial program on sexuality in
Canada. In 2004, SDS will be inaugurating an undergraduate
major and a research centre, and in a few years anticipates
developing and a collaborative M.A. and support programs for
post-doctoral studies. u
At Duke, once a hotbed of Queer studies, the field of sexuality
has been struggling and underfunded for years. But, in
conjunction with a strong Women’s Studies program (under the
directorship of Robyn Wiegman) and active LGBT center
(headed by Karen Krahulik), there is new push going on now
to revitalize the undergraduate certificate-giving program, the
Program in the Study of Sexualities, headed by its new director,
Anne Allison. With funds for a half line (someone to teach two
courses each of three years starting in fall, 2004), the aim is to
build this program, strengthen the scholarly interest and
dynamism around sexualities (queer/global/cyber/activist/
community) studies, and to make sexuality a safe/exciting space
for study and research once again at Duke. u