Award Winners

ABEL SIERRA MADERO
MARTIN DUBERMAN FELLOWSHIP
Abel Sierra Madero holds a PhD in History from the University of Havana (2009). Over
the last ten years, he has worked in the fields of sexuality and gender and their links
to nation-building and nationalism. He has lectured widely in universities in the
US, Spain, UK, Italy, Israel and Mexico. He has been awarded the prize Casa de las
Américas for his book Del otro lado del espejo. La sexualidad en la construcción de
la nación cubana (2006). He has been also been awarded an Erasmus Mundus visiting
fellowship and a research grant from Ford Foundation/SEPHIS. He is a member of the
Cuban Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC).
Abel Sierra Madero’s third book entitled From the “New Man” to the Transvestism of
the State: Heteronormative Nationalism in the Cuban Revolution, studies the role of
heteronormative nationalism in the construction of the ‘revolutionary’ consciousness
and the implementation of policies regarding sexuality at the beginning of the
Revolution and nowadays. By focusing on “heteronormative nationalism”, he aims to
explore the ways the connections between nationalism and heteronormativity have
been an integral part of processes of “revolutionary engineering” and politics. This
time, his efforts in historicizing the Cuban nation incorporate a transnational line of
inquiry that he has not explored previously. Although the Cuban Revolution has promoted
the myth of its political exceptionalism and cultural independence, he illustrates
how transnational models of social engineering travelled across the socialist
bloc and fed a model of both traditional masculinity and socialist morality embodied
in the concept of the New Man, in vogue during the first decades of the Revolution.
The second part of the book contrasts such initial moments with the (local) state’s
reactions to the new challenges that (global) queer scholarship and activism introduced
through the framework of “sexual diversity.” To that end, he will analyze
the contemporary discourses and policies of the state’s National Center of Sexual
Education (CENESEX) regarding sexual diversity and trans identities. His working
hypothesis is that such interventions can be understood as manifestations of what
he defines as “transvestism of the state,” a new set of discursive and policy adjustments
to the global framework of cultural and sexual “diversity” that translate
locally into the state’s co-optation of sexual and political claims.

CARY CRONENWETT
GIARD FELLOWSHIP
Cary Treadwell Cronenwett received the Bay Area Guardian Goldie Award for Local
Discovery after the release of his 2009 film, Maggots and Men (55min). His first
short film, Phineas Slipped (2002) played extensively in the international LGBT film
festival circuit. Currently based in Los Angeles, he is pursuing an MFA in the Film/
Video program at CalArts, but is on exchange at Universtät der Kunst in Berlin. He
is in post-production on a documentary/fiction hybrid set in Haiti, which is loosely
based on the novel, Kathy Goes to Haiti, by Kathy Acker.
Go with Flo is a personal essay film that describes Cronenwett’s relationship with a
close friend and creative partner, Flo McGarrell, and revolves around a dream Mc-
Garrell had, which caused him to have a realization of his transgender identity and
ultimately brought them together.
The film is a non-traditional love story that spans the time from when Cronenwett
first met McGarrell in 2004 to McGarrell’s memorial service in 2010. Cronenwett is
recreating the story from memory with the intent of creating an archival document
that solidifies their relationship. The first person narration will be punctuated by
dates, which suggest that parts of the text are excerpts from diary entries. Archival
footage from a variety of sources piece together a document of visual evidence of
their work as individuals and as creative partners. Go with Flo will stand on its own
as a short work (with a run time of 20 minutes), and will eventually be screened as
a companion piece to Kathy Goes to Haiti, which is a documentary/fiction hybrid that
revolves around the incomplete narrative (based on the 1978 novel, Kathy Goes to
Haiti, by Kathy Acker) McGarrell and Cronenwett were co-directing together at the
time of McGarrell’s death. This short, experimental narrative film was intended to
be part of a longer work based on Acker’s complete novel, which was scheduled for
completion in summer of 2011, but less than three weeks after wrapping production
on the short, McGarrell died in the earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010.
Go with Flo investigates McGarrell’s impact on the lives of artists, particularly queer
artists, at FOSAJ art center in Jacmel. A context for interpreting McGarrell’s contributions
to the queer community in Jacmel will be created through lesbian, gay, and
transgender Haitians discussing life for queer people in Haiti.

MARLON BAILEY
HELLER–BERNARD FELLOWSHIP 2012
Marlon M. Bailey is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and American
Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington. His is also a Visiting
Professor at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) in the Department
of Medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. Marlon
holds a PhD in African American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in
Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California-Berkeley.
His forthcoming book manuscript, Butch Queens up in Pumps: Gender, Performance
and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, is a performance ethnography
of the House/Ball community and will be published by the University of
Michigan Press. Marlon’s most recent essay, “Gender/Racial Realness:
Theorizing the Gender System in Ballroom Culture,” appears in Feminist
Studies (2011).
In “I Like it Raw:” Black Gay Sex in the Age of AIDS, Marlon seeks to understand
why and how Black gay men engage in raw sex despite the pervasive
stigma associated with them and their sexual practices in this time
of high prevalence of HIV among communities of Black gay men and men
who have sex with men (MSM). He wants to know if and how raw sex
practices serve as a means through which Black gay men/MSM pursue
sexual pleasure on their own terms despite the stigma associated with
it. Furthermore, he wants to understand the kind of sex that Black gay
men/MSM have and the logics that undergird these practices to develop
more sex positive and effective HIV prevention strategies. Drawing from
what M. Jacqui Alexander refers to as erotic autonomy and Cathy J. Cohen’s
notion of deviance as resistance, he theorizes how Black gay men’s
engagement in raw sex might constitute a pursuit of sexual autonomy
despite the stigmatizing gaze of public health and the larger society. This
project is a combination of ethnography and discursive analyses. The ethnographic
dimension will consist of interviews with Black gay men who
claim to engage in raw sex in order to learn about their practices and the
contexts, situations and spaces in which they occur. This project also
includes analyses of raw sex pornography and Black, gay, sexual/social
networking sites. Ultimately, he intends for this research to contribute to
HIV/AIDS prevention studies by highlighting the pursuit of erotic and raw
sexual pleasure as an autonomous practice, whereby Black gay men negotiate
between pleasure and risk, but they are not expected to substitute
pleasure for “safe sex.”

EMILY THUMA
HELLER–BERNARD FELLOWSHIP 2012
Emily Thuma received her Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University
in September 2011. Her research and teaching focus in gender
and sexuality studies and modern U.S. social and cultural history, with
particular emphasis in the politics of violence, citizenship, and social
movements. The completion of her dissertation, “‘Not a Wedge, But a
Bridge:’ Prisons, Feminist Activism, and the Politics of Gendered Violence,
1968-1987,” was supported by the American Fellowship from the American
Association of University Women and the NYU Dean’s Dissertation
Fellowship. She currently teaches Queer Studies and Comparative Ethnic
Studies at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Thuma is currently revising her dissertation into a book manuscript. The
project writes a history of U.S.-based feminist opposition to intimate and
state violence against women in the 1970s and 1980s that emphasizes
antiracist and queer initiatives. By investigating the collective actions of
radical women of color and white women, lesbian women, and institutionalized
and imprisoned women, Thuma shows that the mainstreaming
of gendered violence as a target of law enforcement and mental health
interventions was a far more contested and uneven process than has previously
been considered. She asks how activists’ differential relationships
to systems of incarceration and policing, and to movements for prisoners’
and mental patients’ rights, gay and lesbian liberation, and racial justice,
shaped how they organized around violence and imagined ideas of safety,
justice, and redress.

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