Everyday Racism, Everyday Homophobia: A Symposium on the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality
Everyday Racism, Everyday Homophobia: A Symposium on the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality.
November 8, 2012 1 pm to 4 pm
Participants: Jack Halberstam (USC), Marlon Ross (UVA), Kathryn Bond Stockton (Utah), with a response by Sharon P. Holland (Duke). Moderator, Mark Anthony Neal (Duke)
Time: November 8, 2012 1 pm to 4 pm
Place: John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies
Media: UStream Broadcast, with live Twitter stream and live-blogging by HASTAC Scholars
Reception: To follow (co-located with the opening reception for the graduate student-led Interhemispheric Conference “Convergences”)
Broadcast: All or some of the footage will be part of “Left of Black,” by Host Mark Anthony Neal and the Franklin Center Studios.
Sponsors: John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute and HASTAC, with co-sponsors Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dean of Humanities, Department of African and African American Studies, Department of Women’s Studies, John Hope Franklin Center for International and Interdisciplinary Studies, Department of English, Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge
Schedule: Box lunch for participants and organizers 11:30-1. Symposium, 1-4. Reception. Evening party.
Affiliated Events: This Symposium will be co- advertised and coordinated with Michaeline Crichlow’s opening talk for “Global Affirmative Action” Conference, beginning with evening keynote, Nov 8 (the Conference is Nov 9-10 in Smith Warehouse Garage). It will also be co-advertised and coordinated with the opening of the Graduate-Student Interhemispheric Conference “Convergences” (Nov 9-10).
When Jodie Brunstetter, wife of North Carolina Senator Peter Brunstetter, was encouraging voters to support Amendment 1 to the North Carolina constitution in May of 2012, she observed, “The reason my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to reproduce.” The racial underpinnings of this statement shocked many since the wording of the amendment, which ultimately passed by a wide margin, does not explicitly address issues of race or reproduction. Amendment 1 reads: “Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” How and why were race, gender, and sexuality so intertwined in this political action and in the discourse surrounding it? How is it that race/gender/sexuality are not only part of the “intersectional” theoretical movement in critical race studies and gender studies but in the everyday racism and everyday homophobia of 21st century political discourse in the U.S.?
Timed for the immediate aftermath of the Presidential election, this Symposium will provide an analysis of these interconnected issues in American society as well as in the discourse of critical race studies, queer theory, and gender studies. Its audience will be academics, students, and a larger public.
The Symposium will take place at the John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University and will be UStreamed by the Franklin Center’s professional media team. The event will also be live-blogged, tweeted, and micro-blogged by a team of HASTAC Scholars who will also be receiving feeds from the larger public and feeding questions to the speakers. Finally, students in Duke’s new Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge will be charged with creating taped excerpts, uploaded to YouTube, that will have maximum public impact beyond Duke, including with suggestions for further reading, discussion questions raised at the Symposium, and other materials that might make useful course content well beyond Duke.
We are extremely pleased that three of the most prominent, distinguished, and eloquent scholars in these fields—each offering different perspectives and critiques—will come to Duke for a vibrant, timely forum:
Jack Halberstam (USC): Halberstam is Professor of English and Director of The Center for Feminist Research at University of Southern California. Halberstam’s books include Female Masculinity, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, What’s Queer about Queer Studies Now? and The Queer Art of Failure.
Marlon Ross (University of Virginia): Professor of English, with specializations in African American, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Romanticism, and author of Manning the Race and The Contours of Masculine Desire .
Kathryn Bond Stockton (University of Utah). Distinguished Professor of English and Gender Studies, and author of The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century, Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where “Black” Meets “Queer” , and God Between Their Lips: Desire Between Women in Irigaray, Bronte, and Eliot.
RESPONSE: Sharon Holland (Duke University)
Participating and responding to this discussion, and honored in this symposium for her key contribution to this debate, will be Sharon Holland (Duke University), whose searing, controversial, and prescient new book, The Erotic Life of Racism, is a key document helping to define and understand these typically unspoken interconnections between what she terms “everyday racism” and “everyday homophobia,” including the intertwined histories of racial eugenics and reproductive rights. These recurrent strains in American society also form much of the discourse of critical race theory, transnational studies, American studies, gender theory, queer theory, and sexuality studies.
Whatever the results of the November 2012 Presidential bid, this Symposium will help us to put into perspective a number of issues that have, together and in unspoken ways, been summoned up in U.S. politics for decades, some would even say since our beginnings as a nation. Besides setting that larger cultural and historical context, the Symposium will untangle such specifics as the focus on Planned Parenthood, the President’s “evolving” support for gay marriage, and Newsweek magazine subsequently dubbing him America’s “first gay President” (a clear reference back to President Bill Clinton having been called “America’s first Black President), and many other key, unresolved, unspoken, and yet interconnected conundrums that continue to roil U.S. political, cultural, social, and intellectual life. These issues, inevitably, also shape debates around public funding and support of diversity programs, women’s studies programs, women’s reproductive rights programs, affirmative action, ethnic studies programs, the humanities and social sciences, and, indeed, higher education more generally.