1136 Lane Hall
204 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Phone: 734–764–9537
Fax: 734–764–9533


Lesbian-Gay-Queer Research Initiative

Upcoming Events

Peter Drucker, International Institute of Research and Education in Amsterdam
The Political Economy of Homonationalism/Islamophobia

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
4:00 p.m.
2239 Lane Hall

Cosponsored by IRWG, LGQRI, LSA, Arab & Muslim American Studies Program, and the Race, Colonialism and Sexuality Initiative.

Robyn Wiegman, Professor of Literature and Women's Studies, Duke University
Negativity Rules (On the Antisocial Thesis in Queer Theory)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
4:10 p.m.
2239 Lane Hall

This lecture returns to the antisocial thesis in queer theory to explore the contentions about race, reparativity, and utopian thought that have come to characterize it. Organized as an extended deliberation on Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman’s recent book, Sex, or the Unbearable, the lecture reads their collaboration in broader terms than they offer, linking the institutional, analytic, and affective terrain in which their conversation moves. It opens by considering what they most share—a commitment to the value of negativity and nonsovereignty for social theory—before exploring the distinctly different sensibilities they offer, with Edelman insisting on a negativity born of the death drive and Berlant finding political sustenance in ordinary acts aimed at social change. Plotting these differences, the lecture ends by delineating what remains irresolvable about queer theory's antisocial debate.

Cosponsored by the Departments of Women's Studies, English, and the Center for Research on Learning & Teaching

Marcia Ochoa, Associate Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies Department, University of California - Santa Cruz
Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela

Monday, January 25, 2016
4:10 p.m.
2239 Lane Hall

Queen for a Day is a queer diasporic ethnography of beauty and femininity that connects the logic of Venezuelan modernity with the production of a national femininity. This ethnography examines how femininities are produced, performed, and consumed in the mass-media spectacles of international beauty pageants, on the runways of the Miss Venezuela contest, on the well-traveled Caracas avenue where transgender women (transformistas) project themselves into the urban imaginary, and on the bodies of both transformistas and beauty pageant contestants (misses). Placing transformistas and misses in the same analytic frame enables Ochoa to delve deeply into complex questions of media and spectacle, gender and sexuality, race and class, and self-fashioning and identity.

Venezuela has won more international beauty contests than any other. The femininity performed by Venezuelan women in high-profile, widely viewed pageants defines a kind of national femininity. Ochoa argues that as transformistas and misses work to achieve the bodies, clothing and makeup styles, and postures and gestures of this national femininity, they come to embody Venezuelan modernity.

Marcia Ochoa is Associate Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz. An ethnographer of media, Ochoa’s work focuses on the role of the imaginary in the survival of queer and transgender people in Latin America, and the place of these subjects in the nation. She is a founder and advisor to El/La Para TransLatinas, a social justice project for transgender Latina immigrants in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. Ochoa is co-editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.

Presented by IRWG's Lesbian-Gay-Queer Research Initiative (LGQRI). Cosponsored by the Race, Colonialism and Sexuality Initiative, Latina/o Studies Program, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Cosponsored by the Department of Women's Studies and the Center for Research on Learning & Teaching

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