Seminars in the City: CLAGS Continues the Tradition

In summer 2008 Carlos U. Decena, an assistant professor at Rutgers University,
facilitated the three Seminars in the City: Queer Migrations (June 2nd, July 7,
and August 4). The topic brought together a broad range of audience including
undergraduate and graduate students, professionals from all walks of life, and
people interested in LGBTQ issues. The readings (John D’Emilio, Eithne Lubheid,
Adi Kuntsman, Kath Weston, Susana Peña and an illustrated autobiography/graphic
testimonial Sexilio/Sexile by Jaime Cortez) introduced the participants to the dynamic
field of scholarship in queer migration. Decena led the audience through lively
and thought provoking discussions focused on the importance of understanding the
interaction of sexuality with traditional as well as emerging themes such as ethnic/
racial assimilation, transnationalism, and homeland politics.
In Fall 2008 Leo Wilton, an assistant professor
at SUNY Binghamton, put together a
series of seminars titled: Black Gay Men in
the Age of AIDS: The Socio-Cultural Context
of Stigma, Marginalization, and Structural
Inequalities. The seminars were co-sponsored
by the National Black Gay Men’s
Advocacy Coalition (NBMAC), New York
State Black Gay Network (NYSBGN), and
the Black Gay Research Group (BGRG).
Wilton facilitated the first of the four seminars on September 8th. The following
seminars were led by some of the major luminaries in public health and social work.
Darrell Wheeler, Hunter College School of Social Work, on October 6 gave a very
well received presentation: Let’s Do HIV Prevention Work with the Person and Not the
Label. Wheeler was followed the next month in November (11/10) by Patrick Wilson,
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, who spoke on Exploring
the Contexts of Risk and Health-Seeking Behaviors among Black Men Who Have Sex with
Men. The last seminar, Spirituality in the Lives of Black Gay Men: Reclaiming Our Legacy,
was presented on December 15th by Robert Miller, Jr, SUNY Albany.
The 35-40 participants for each seminar ensured an enthusiastic and engaging discussion
around a topic that attracted social workers, healthcare professionals, activists,
and members of the LGBTQ community. “What you said,” one audience member
commented at the end of third seminar, “was beautiful and very helpful.”
We have an exciting series lined up for Spring 2009: Tease N’ Tell: The Body Politics
of Burlesque. Jasmina Sinanovic will facilitate the series along with presentations by
some of the leading burlesque performers and scholars in New York City (for more
information see event calendar p. 16).
In our summer 2009 series, Sex & the City, will be facilitated by Christina Handhardt,
an assistant professor at University of Maryland. For more information, see
calendar on page 16 .
CLAGS would like to thank the presenters, participants, and the New York Council
for the Humanities, our primary sponsor, for helping us bring the queer academy to
the public.

UPCOMING SEMINARS IN THE CITY
SPRING 2009: Tease N’ Tell: The
Body Politics of Burlesque
SUMMER 2009: Sex & the City