Lectures

Feminist Lecture Series Spring 2018

Presented by the Women's and Gender Studies Department

Mondays, 12:00-12:50pm, Ives 101
All Lectures Free and Open to All

1/29 Howard Chiang “China Trans Formed: Scientific Modernity and the Transformation of Sex”
For much of Chinese history, the eunuch stood out as an exceptional figure at the margins of gender categories. Amidst the disintegration of the Qing Empire (1644-1911), men and women in China began to understand their differences in terms of modern scientific knowledge. In this talk, Howard Chiang traces the genealogy of sexual knowledge from the demise of eunuchism to the emergence of transsexuality, exploring how competing definitions of sex circulated in science, medicine, vernacular culture, and the periodical press in the first half of the twentieth century. Howard Chiang is Assistant Professor in the University of California, Davis History Department. He is the author of After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (2018), on which this talk is based, He is also editor of Sexuality in China: Histories of Power and Pleasure (2018) and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the forthcoming 3-volume Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trang- sgender History.

2/5 Ann Neel, Mary Kowatch, Nancy Kelley, Tina Dungan and Pat Andreine “Lesbian Archives of Sonoma County, Building a Local Lesbian History Project”
The Lesbian Archives of Sonoma County formed in 2007 when some longtime residents realized that local Lesbian history was disappearing. Because their experience from 1965-1995 was so significant, they collected stories that reflected the transformative changes they remembered being central to the women’s community in this county. They generated a list of over 60 organizations created or led by Lesbians during those politically turbulent years. Since then they have been filming interviews and collecting ephemera and memorabilia. Speakers will include LASC members Ann Neel, Mary Kowatch, Nancy Kelley, Tina Dungan, and Pat Andreine.

2/12 Amy Sueyoshi, “Discriminating Sex: White Leisure and the Making of the American Oriental”
Turn-of-the-20th-century San Francisco grew in national reputation as a city that “knew how” in terms of its wide range of gender and sexual expression as well as easy race relations. Yet historian Amy Sueyoshi argues that increasing white gender and sexual freedoms directly created the archetypal “Oriental” as a prostitute, geisha, martyr and “homo-sexual.” Sueyoshi is Interim Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University. As a historian, her research interests lie at the intersection of Asian American and queer studies. She is the author of Queer Compulsions (2012) and Discriminating Sex (March 2018). Amy is also a co-curator and founding member of the GLBT History Museum, the recipient of the Willie Walker Award for service for the GLBT Historical Society, and in 2017 San Francisco Pride honored Amy as a Community Grand Marshal.

2/19 Sonya Renee Taylor, “Queering Life: A Queer Politic Beyond Sex and Desire”
Sonya Renee Taylor is the Founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, an international movement and organization committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Sonya’s work as an award winning Performance Poet, activist and transformational leader continues to have global reach. Sonya is a former national and international poetry slam champion, author, educator and activist who has mesmerized audiences across the US, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands as well as in prisons, mental health treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and schools across the globe. 

2/26 Rabih Alameddine, “Readings and Conversation with a Gay Lebanese-American Writer”
In this talk, Alameddine will share some of his work as a globally celebrated, award-winning novelist and discuss creative practice as a gay Lebanese-American author and artist in the time of Trump. Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids (1998), I, the Divine (2001), The Hakawati (2008), An Unnecessary Woman (2014), and The Angel of History (2016), as well as the story collection, The Perv (1999). He divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut.

3/5 Luis Guitierrez, Mock, “HIV and the Trans Community Today”
Luis Gutierrez-Mock is the Project Director for the TRIUMPH Project, a community-led PrEP demonstration project at the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health at UCSF. Prior to his role on TRIUMPH, Luis worked as the Project Coordinator for the Transgender Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center (TETAC). He has also been a Co-Executive Chair of the annual Trans March in San Francisco.

3/26 Nicole Opper and Kristan Cassady, “How Do You Decide When to Turn the Camera on Yourself (and When to Turn It Off)?”
THE F WORD is a short comedic docuseries about one queer couple's journey to parenthood through the foster-to-adoption process. Along the way they seek out advice from other fost-adopt families and expand their search in ways they never imagined. Director/producer team, spouses and subjects Nicole Opper and Kristan Cassady will talk about their choice to film such a personal experience - which depending on the day could be described as exhilarating, scary, enlightening, or just plain awkward. Opper is the Emmy®-nominated filmmaker of Off and Running (POV, 2010) and Visitor’s Day (2016). Their work has screened at Tribeca, AFI Docs, Guadalajara, Frameline, Outfest and 70 other festivals internationally, and has been supported by ITVS, Chicken & Egg Pictures, NYSCA, Black Public Media and a Fulbright Fellowship. They were one of Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” The F Word is a featured story of Indie Lens Storycast, a new channel created by ITVS and PBS Digital Studios.

4/2 Jacob Gaboury, “Goodbye World: A Queer Computation”
Jacob Gaboury, Assistant Professor of New Media History and Theory at the University of California, Berkeley, will examine and critique the longstanding relationship between queer history and computation, tracking the ways queer subjects and queer theories have shaped, transformed, and resisted computational technologies for almost a century. Pairing early queer figures such as Alan Turing with contemporary queer art and scholarship that engages our current digital culture, he rethinks what queer theory has to offer to the study of digital media. The growth of digital media has had a transformative effect on the ways we construct identity and build community. This is particularly true for queer and marginalized groups, for whom network technologies in particular have facilitated new forms of contact and connection. We queer technology by finding new and novel uses for it, and by transforming it to conform to our needs and desires. Yet at the same time digital media have come to effect identity itself, as the complexity of cultural and social difference becomes tracked, categorized, and monetized through online platforms. Is a queer technics possible, and what might it look like?

4/9 Marcia Ochoa, “Translatina Citizenship”
Marcia Ochoa is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and founding advisory board co-chair of El/La Para Translatinas, a transgender Latina social justice organization in San Francisco’s Mission District. In this talk, she will discuss the particular navigations, performances, and worldmaking involved in asserting translatina citizenship in the contemporary U.S. An anthropologist specializing in the ethnography of media, Ochoa is the author of Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela (2014), and co-editor of GLQ: a Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. She is at work on a new project, Ungrateful Citizenship, which documents the work of El/La Para Translatinas and the terms on which transgender women from Latin America who live in the US and Europe participate in, belong to, and are recognized by society.

4/16 Irene Tu, “Triple Minority (Lesbian, Asian, and Woman)”
Chicago-born, San Francisco-based stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Irene Tu shares a comic take on the richness and complexity of being a queer Asian American woman today. In 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle singled her out as an “artist on the brink of fame,” on the heels of being named one of the “Bay Area’s 11 Best Stand Up Comedians” (SFist) and one of 20 “Women to Watch” (KQED). She has performed at SF Sketchfest, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Riot LA and her comedy was featured on Seeso and Viceland. Irene has opened for comedians such as Anthony Jeselnik, W. Kamau Bell, Gary Gulman, Hari Kondabolu, and Aparna Nancherla.

4/23 Leo Herrera, “Queer Nightlife and Sexuality as Political Force”
Mexican visual artist, filmmaker, writer, and activist Leo Herrera will focus on how the beginnings of much of queer history and politics can be traced to gatherings that celebrated hedonism and sexuality. Queer Mardi Gras krewes became the first political organizations of the South. A dance party at a firehouse in NYC led to the Gay Activists Alliance. Saint’s Disease, one of the first terms for AIDS, was named after a dance club. Many of the circuit parties that still exist started as fundraisers for the AIDS crisis. The visuals, music and traditions of these events became intertwined with the larger gay movement, history and struggles. Herrera, a promoter for nightlife events from New Orleans, Provincetown, New York, San Francisco and Berlin, will also showcase how film and online promotion can be used as a tool to create a context for such events to educate a younger generation while honoring the queer elders who paved the way. Herrera’s work focuses on gay culture and the main subjects are queer nightlife, PrEP, HIV stigma/criminalization and the preservation of gay history. His viral film clips have gathered over a million views and his advocacy work has been featured in national publications and museum exhibitions. He is currently working on a sci-fi documentary titled “Fathers Project,” which imagines the world if AIDS never happened and our heroes had lived.

4/30 Landa Lakes, “Living Out Loud: Two-Spirit, Drag Queen, and Grand Duchess”
Longtime Bay Area drag performer Landa Lakes will discuss the two -spirit movement in its cultural relevance to the past and discuss its growth and its continued life in arts and in tribal government. J. Miko Thomas is a Chickasaw writer, musician, activist and artist. As drag persona Landa Lakes, in 2005, she founded two drag performance groups that have contributed to San Francisco’s art and cultural scene: the Two-Spirit Native American drag troupe, the Brush Arbor Gurlz, and the creative and campy House of Glitter. Landa uses art to combine contemporary ideas with Native history and traditional stories to convey the shared experiences and understanding of human nature outside the colonized Christian perspective. Notable honors include the New York Fresh Fruit Festival Performance Award, KQED LGBT Local Hero Award and serving as Grand Duchess 36 of the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco, a non-profit organization. Thomas served as Co-Chair to the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits (BAAIT-S) and is on the Board of the BAAIT-S Two-Spirit Powwow, the International Court System and the GLBT Historical Society.

The Spring 2018 Feminist Lecture Series is made possible through the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and the SSU Instructionally Related Activities Program. Questions? Contact Charlene Tung: tung@sonoma.edu

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Sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Department (WGS)

with generous support from SSU’s Instructionally Related Activities Funds.