The First Tuesday of the Month Colloquia Series is a forum in which scholars present work-in-progress. In this informal, seminar-like atmosphere, the scholar’s work is subject to critical scrutiny by a participating audience from diverse academic and professional backgrounds. This fall, Jeffrey Escoffier, Carra Leah Hood, and Ruthann Robson, gave presentations.
Using the self-reflexive lens of a young, gay scholar coming of age in the 1950s and 60s, Escoffier led the audience on a search through the social science literature to find studies on homosexuality that challenged the disease and deviance models then prevalent. Hood read a narrative — part biography, part autobiography, and part fiction — which focused on marginalized identities, body images. and internalized perceptions of “having” disease/AIDS. Continuing the frame constructed in her book of essays, LESBIAN (OUT)LAW, Robson’s presentation centered on criminal trials in which a female defendant’s lesbian identity enters the case as supporting evidence of her “guilt.”
Upcoming colloquia this Spring are:
February 1: Charles Nero, Assistant Professor of English at Bates College and Rockefellew Humanities Fellow,’What Did I Do To Be So Black and Gay?: Identity in Contemporary Black Gay Fiction.” March 1: William T. Hoffman, playwright, poet, author of As Is, “RIGA: A New Play and Thoughts about Gay Theatre.” April 5: Gilbert Zicklin, Associate Professor of Sociology at Montclair State College,” Media Responses to Theories of Sexual Orientation: Placing Limitations on Complexity.” May 3: Suzanne Kessler, Associate Professor of Psychology at SUNY Purchase, “Creating Good-Looking Genitals in the Service of Gender.”
All presentations will be held at the The Graduate Center, CUNY at 33 West 42 St. from 7:30 to 9:30. A wine and cheese reception follows. Colloquia Chair, Gilda Zwerman, is currently scheduling the 1994-95 series, which will meet on the first Wednesday of each month. If you are interested in giving a presentation, contact Gilda Zwerman at the CLAGS office, (212) 642-2924.