The Forbidden Eakins: The Sexual Politics of Thomas Eakins and His Circle

Monday, June 24 7:00pm
Stony Brook-Manhattan
401 Park Ave South, 2nd floor (at 28th Street)
This symposium takes the opening of the Eakins exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an
occasion to gather in one place the leading edge of the field to discuss queer and feminist
approaches to the subject of sex and gender in the Eakin’s paintings, photography, and biography. It
is necessary because the Met has once again utterly ignored a now quite developed and highly
influential queer studies bibliography towards the framing of an artist who is, moreover, safely dead.
In this round-table conversation, panelists will take up subjects like: homoeroticism, race, and
masculinity; women in Eakins’s work; Eakins’s photographic interest in the naked body; class
difference; and the challenges Eakins poses to people working in gay and lesbian studies. They
will also consider the larger subject of queer perspectives in art history, and the curatorial practices of
the museums that manage Eakins’s presence in the public sphere.
Participants include art historians, American studies scholars, queer theorists, literary critics, and
artists – all with distinct investments in Eakins and in the subject of pleasure, sex, and politics in
American culture: Martin Berger, Deborah Bright, Jennifer Doyle, Michael Hatt, Michael Moon, James
Smalls, and Jonathan Weinberg.
Sponsored by the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook and co-sponosored by CLAGS, the Larry
Kramer Initiative at Yale University, and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU.