• Fall 2018

    Julia Serano

    Author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity

    Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive

    Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 4.30pm

    South Activities Room, Shalala Student Center

    Presented by the Center for the Humanities Queer Studies Interdisciplinary Research Group, SpectrUM, and the Women and Gender Studies Program

    Exclusivity is a daunting problem within feminism and queer (i.e., LGBTQIA+) activism. Some feminists vocally condemn other feminists because of their manner of dress, interests, or for the sexual partners or practices they take up. There is a long history of lesbian and gay activists who outright dismiss bisexuals, transgender people, and other gender and sexual minorities. In general, these and other instances of exclusion arise when we prioritize one or a few forms of sexism and marginalization over all others - this inevitably results in far smaller movements with far more narrow and distorted agendas.

    In this talk, Julia discusses numerous strategies that she forwards in her recent book Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive that empower us to challenge all forms of sexism and marginalization, even those that we may be unaware of or less familiar with. These strategies include recognizing natural variation in sex, gender, and sexuality, and that people are fundamentally heterogeneous; moving beyond fixed views of sexism and marginalization that deny many individual’s unique situations, experiences, and perspectives; and learning to more generally recognize double standards, double-binds, and methods of invalidation that are routinely used to undermine minorities and marginalized groups.

    ‌‌Julia Serano is an Oakland-based writer, performer, biologist, and activist. She is the author of three books, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (now in second edition), Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive, and Outspoken: A Decade of Transgender Activism and Trans Feminism. Julia’s other writings have appeared in over a dozen anthologies, and in news and media outlets such as TIME, The Guardian, Salon, The Daily Beast, Alternet.org, Ms., Out, and The Advocate. Her writings have been used as teaching materials in college courses across North America.

    Emily Sahakian

    Associate Professor of Theatre and French
    University of Georgia

    Restaging Édouard Glissant’s Histoire de nègre (Tale of Black Histories): Consciousness-Raising Theatre Under Construction

    Thursday, November 15, 2018 at 4.30pm

    Third Floor Conference Room, Richter Library 

    Presented by the Center for the Humanities Theatre & Performance Studies Interdisciplinary Research Group

    In 1971, the Martinican writer Édouard Glissant created the avant-garde, educational play Histoire de nègre (Tale of Black Histories) with a group of Caribbean schoolteachers, and it toured throughout Martinique, reaching over 2,000 working-class spectators. In the following decades, however, the play and Glissant’s grassroots theatrical activism would remain virtually untouched by critics and artists, despite Glissant’s blossoming international reputation, both as a commentator of Caribbean culture and as a theorist of transnational, diasporic modes of belonging. Over the past four years, in collaboration with colleagues in the U.S. and Caribbean, I have been working as dramaturg, scholar, and co-translator to document and renew the play’s anti-racist, consciousness-raising mission. In this talk, I draw from my theorization of “creolization” as a performance-based process of reinventing meaning and resisting the status-quo to explore our ongoing efforts to restage—and transform—Glissant’s theatrical activism.

    Emily Sahakian (Ph.D., Northwestern University and the École des hautes études en sciences sociales) is Associate Professor of Theatre and French at the University of Georgia. Her first book, Staging Creolization: Women’s Theater and Performance from the French Caribbean (2017), explores the works of a pioneering generation of late twentieth-century female playwrights from Martinique and Guadeloupe, and reconstructs these plays’ international production and reception histories, in the Caribbean, in France, and in English-translation in the United States. With Andrew Daily, she is preparing a translation and bilingual, critical edition of Histoire de nègre (Tale of Black Histories), a Martinican avant-garde play devised collaboratively by Caribbean schoolteachers under Edouard Glissant’s direction in 1971, and she is working with the Compagnie SIYAJ from Guadeloupe to restage the play and renew its potential for dialogic education and anti-racist activism.

  • Spring 2019

    Bill Bulman

    Associate Professor of History & Global Studies
    Lehigh University

    The Rise of the Majority in Revolutionary England and its Empire

    Monday, February 11, 2019 at 4:30pm

    Third Floor Conference Room, Otto G. Richter Library

    Presented by the Center for the Humanities Early Modern Interdisciplinary Research Group

    Register Here

    The majority vote is the foundational element of representative assemblies, party politics, and democracy in today's world. While nearly all academics and the public at large have come to see this way of making decisions as natural to the political realm, it is actually an historical accident. The prevalence of the majority vote today is due to the fact that it suddenly became the practice of the English House of Commons and the North American colonial assemblies when Britain's empire first took shape. Yet this process has never been narrated or explained. Bulman's current project aims to do both, using traditional and digital tools.

    Bill Bulman writes about the political, religious, and intellectual history of Britain and its empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His work examines the causes, nature, and consequences of the English Revolution, and the ways in which early moderns confronted pluralism. His first book, Anglican Enlightenment (2015), and a co-edited volume, God in the Enlightenment (2016), offered a new interpretation of the early Enlightenment, the post-revolutionary Church of England, and the religious politics of later Stuart England and its empire. His second major project locates the origins of majority rule in the representative assemblies of England and British America. He is also engaged in two related, collaborative projects aimed at re-thinking the relationship between history and the social sciences.