CSGS LGBTQ Studies Project + Artists’ Salon | 2016-17

The CSRPC is proud to co-sponsor the 2016-17 LGBTQ Studies Project and Artists’ Salon—directed by CSRPC Faculty Affiliate Lauren Berlant (English) and housed at The Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.  The series will focus on queer art as conceptual art that collects, disturbs and repairs our commonly held objects of intimacy and our expectations of critical argument. Enmeshing theory and performance, this year's guests refuse the priority of abstract over affective perception, assuming that all are defined with, against, and inside of each other. And they don’t assume that critique equals a refusal of attachment or pleasure, but an interest in them.

During Winter ’17, Joshua Chambers-Letson spoke on "Nina Simone and the work of Minoritarian Performance” (February 9) and E. Patrick Johnson performed reflections on his projects on Southern GaynessSweet Tea and The Beekeeper: Performing Southern Black Women Who Love Women (January 12) letting us into what it’s like to embody live humans of a variety of genders and sexual practices in his translations of interviews into performance. In the fall, Lily Hoang and Jackie Wang read from their autobiographical and poetic works, and ran a workshop on Monsters, Trauma, and Writing (October 27-28). Ann Cvetkovitch lectured and ran a writing workshop under the rubric, "Writing as Archival Practice,” (November 3).

All events are free and open to the public. 


Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 4.30pm | Joshua Chambers-Letson, "Nina Simone and the work of Minoritarian Performance"; rsvp

Bringing a minoritarian performance studies perspective to bear on performances executed by Nina Simone between 1958 and 1971, this talk theorizes minoritarian performance as a revolutionary practice born from the dialectical tension between freedom and its negation. The work of minoritarian performance, it argues, is to materialize Simone’s desire “to know what it would feel like to be free,” affect a black feminist reorganization of the limiting conditions of the present, negotiate the unjust distribution of death and exploitation towards black life, and rehearse and realize the potential for what Ernst Bloch described as a life in freedom and happiness. 

Joshua Chambers-Letson is assistant professor of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America (NYU Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 Outstanding Book Award from the Association of Theater in Higher Education (ATHE), and is currently working on a book manuscript titled On the Work of Minoritarian Performance. Along with Ann Pellegrini and Tavia Nyong’o, he is a series co-editor of the Sexual Cultures series of NYU Press.


Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 4.30pm | E. Patrick Johnson on Sweet Tea and The Beekeeper: Performing Southern Black Women Who Love Women; rsvp 

This lecture/performance is based on oral histories of black southern women who desire women. Johnson will discuss some of the methodological challenges of being a man conducting research on women as well as cover some of the topics that he found to be common among many of the women he interviewed. In addition, Johnson will perform excerpts from some of the oral histories.

E. Patrick Johnson has published widely in the areas of race, class, gender, sexuality, and performance. He is the founder and director of the Black Arts Initiative at Northwestern. He is also a Project& artist, a nonprofit arts organization engaged in art for social change and impact. Johnson is a prolific performer and scholar, and an inspiring teacher, whose research and artistry has greatly impacted African American studies, performance studies, and sexuality studies.

He is the author of two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity, and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History. He is the editor of Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood (Michigan UP, 2013) and co-editor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology and (with Ramon Rivera-Servera) of solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews, and essays and Blacktino Queer Performance (Duke UP, forthcoming). He is currently at work on the companion text to Sweet Tea, entitled, Honeypot: Southern Black Women Who Love Women and an edited collection of new writings in black queer studies tentatively titled, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies.


Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 4.30pm | Ann Cvetkovich, "Writing as Archival Practice: A Lecture/Writing, Theory/Practice Workshop Hybrid"

Ann Cvetkovich, Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin

What can scholarly writing learn from contemporary forms such as creative non-fiction, lyric essay, graphic narrative, or mixed media? Part lecture, part discussion and part group-writing workshop, this event will draw from Cvetkovich’s ongoing research projects, including a book on the current state of LGBTQ archives and the creative use of them by artists. These models will serve as a point of departure for collective writing exercises done in the real time of the workshop. In particular, we will focus on the list, series, or collection as models for writing practice. Questions to be pursued include the following: How can one organize an archive or a collection of objects, photographs, texts, or other artifacts in multiples or series to serve as the basis for research and writing? What do various forms of writing – at the level of both sentence and structure – do to represent, describe, or remediate data or evidence, and how can such work place pressure on conventional models of data and evidence? How can developing a writing practice not only address methodological and intellectual/theoretical questions but make it easier to get work done? We will write periodically throughout the event, by ourselves (with our objects) and collaboratively, with each other.

An object can be anything: an idea, a thing in the world, a text you want to engage, a problem. If possible, please bring an artifact, and we will produce ways to think about its place in a larger series or collection (actual or still imaginary) that can serve as a platform for transforming what you and others can think about it.

Co-sponsored by the Worlding/Writing Project at the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory (3CT).


Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 4.30pm | Lily Hoang + Jackie Wang: Reading and Discussion

Lily Hoang reads from A Bestiary and Jackie Wang reads poetry, followed by a discussion with Professor Lauren Berlant.

Lily Hoang is the author of five books, including A Bestiary (winner of the inaugural Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Nonfiction Contest) and Changing (recipient of a PEN Open Books Award). With Joshua Marie Wilkinson, she edited the anthology The Force of What’s Possible: Writers on Accessibility and the Avant-Garde. She is Director of the MFA program at New Mexico State University. She serves as Editor at Puerto del Sol and for Jaded Ibis Press. 

Jackie Wang is a writer, filmmaker, performer, and prison abolitionist based out of Cambridge, MA. She is the author of Tiny Spelunker of the Oneiro-Womb (Capricious) and “Against Innocence” (Semiotex(e)). She writes dream-inspired poetry and is a doctoral student at Harvard University. Find her @LoneberryWang and loneberry.tumblr.com.

Fri, Oct 28, 2016 at 12pm | Workshop: “Feeling Out of Space: Trauma Monsters and Magic”

In this collaborative workshop Lily Hoang and Jackie Wang will use hands-on activities and writing exercises to explore the themes lostness, monstrous subjectivity, and magic. 

For more information on the LGBTQ Studies Project + Artists' Salon, and other projects at the CSGS >>
This venue is physically accessible and has a gender-neutral restroom. Please contact the CSRPC at 773.702.8063 with any questions or accommodation requests.