Bodies of Knowledge 6 will feature dynamic and nationally renowned speaker, David Halperin. Additional speakers include: Bernadette Barton, Leigh Hendrix, Thomas McBee and Jane Ward.
David Halperin, a pioneer of LGBTQ studies, dares to
suggest that gayness is a specific way of being that gay men must learn from
one another in order to become who they are. Inspired by the notorious
undergraduate course of the same title that Halperin taught at the University
of Michigan, provoking cries of outrage from both the right-wing media and the
gay press, How To Be Gay traces gay men’s cultural difference to the
social meaning of style. Far
from being deterred by stereotypes, Halperin concludes that the genius of gay
culture resides in some of its most despised features: its aestheticism,
snobbery, melodrama, adoration of glamour, caricatures of women, and obsession
with mothers. The insights, impertinence, and unfazed critical intelligence
displayed by gay culture, Halperin argues, have much to offer the heterosexual
Text courtesy of Harvard University Press. Image courtesy of Windy City Media Group.
Dr. Barton is Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at Morehead State University, and a popular public speaker. Her scholarship explores the experiences of members of marginalized groups, and she is most fascinated by issues of transformation and social justice, such as what makes someone conscious of social inequality? What causes people to change oppressive attitudes and behaviors? How can we really see one another across vast differences of geography, gender, race, class and sexual identity? Most recently, these questions formed the basis for Barton’s book-length study on religion and homosexuality in the Bible Belt, titled, Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays.
Text and photos courtesy of www.bernadettebarton.com.
Leigh Hendrix is a theatre artist first introduced to performance, like many dramatically inclined girls and boys in South Carolina, through dance recitals and church musicals. Now based in Providence, RI, Leigh creates comedic and (sometimes too) personal solo performances and makes theatre as an actor, writer, and improviser with other artists of all shapes and sizes. Her solo performance piece How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less was developed at Emerson College and as a resident artist at Providence’s Perishable Theatre, receiving its regional premier at WAM Theatre’s O Solo Mama Mia Festival in the Berkshires. Leigh is also a founding member of the improv team The Trumans.
Leigh will perform "How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less," a hilarious coming out story for queers and non-queers alike. Motivational speaker and expert lesbian Butchy McDyke deftly guides her captive audience in an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song as they learn to confidently shout, “I’m a big ‘ol dyke!” Writer and performer Leigh Hendrix weaves a story that is one part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one part wacky performance art. At turns funny and poignant, silly and earnest, How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less is the perfect guide to gay for budding lesbians, no matter their sexual orientation!
Text and photos courtesy of www.howtobealesbianin10daysorless.com
Thomas Page McBee
Thomas Page McBee is a "masculinity expert" for VICE and writes the column "Self-Made Man" for the Rumpus. His essays and reportage have appeared in the New York Times, TheAtlantic.com, Salon, and Buzzfeed, where he is a regular contributor on gender issues.
MAN ALIVE, his manuscript about violence, forgiveness and what makes a man won the Mary Tanenbaum nonfiction award from the San Francisco Foundation and was a finalist for the 2012 Bakeless literary prize.
Thomas has given lectures about masculinity and media narratives at colleges across the country, and spent five years as the writer-in-residence at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco. He is currently the managing editor at PolicyMic and at work on a book about forgiveness. He lives in Brooklyn."
Text and photo courtesy of www.thomaspagemcbee.com
Jane Ward is associate professor of Women’s Studies at the University of California Riverside. She is the author of Respectably Queer (Vanderbilt University Press, 2008), as well as several articles on queer politics, whiteness, heterosexuality and, most recently, queer motherhood. She teaches courses in feminist and queer studies.
Although the U.S. media has recently been abuzz with commentary about heteroflexibility, most accounts have focused on “girls who kiss girls” for the pleasure of male spectators, or men of color “on the down low” who are presumed to be gay and in the closet. But where do white men—the dominant culture’s most normalized and idealized figures—fit in to these narratives? In this talk, Ward traces narratives about straight white men’s homosexual encounters across four sites—the United States military, online personal ads, popular culture and the psychotherapeutic industry—illustrating the unique ways that whiteness and masculinity converge to circumvent the pathologizing gaze of popular science, the gaze applied to men of color. Taking sex between straight white men as its point of departure, Ward’s project offers a new way to think about heterosexuality—not as the opposite or absence of homosexuality, but as its own unique mode of engaging homosexual sex, a mode characterized by pretense, disidentification and racialized heteronormative investments.
Find out more about previous Keynotes and speakers at the Bodies of Knowledge Symposium.