Sunday, November 2, 2008
I've received some exciting news. I'm the recipient of the Fall 2008 Graduate Student Travel Award from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS). The award is in recognition of the paper I will be giving later next week at a conference, and is to be used to assist with my travel expenses. My paper is entitled "Channeling (Ant)Eros: John Gibson's Queer Sculpture," but I'll talk more about the paper later. For now I thought I would blog about CLAGS, because they really are doing some fantastic work for 17 years now. As they say on their own website: "The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) was founded in 1991 as the first university-based research center in the United States dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of vital concern to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals and communities." The founder and first director was Martin Duberman, a renown scholar of gay history. Back in the mid-'90s when I was first pursuing research in the field, I contacted Prof. Duberman to ask for his advice (by letter no less; this was before email was the norm). Imagine my excitement when I got home and there was a voicemail from him and a verbal invitation to phone him to talk more. We did speak, and I still to this day appreciate his encouragement of pursuing my interest in gay issues in the fields of art history and cultural studies. Sometimes people think we're in a "post-gay" world, but with the organized threat of new laws going into effect after Tuesday's election--laws that would outright take away the equal rights of gays and lesbians in places like California--groups like CLAGS are needed more now than ever. For more about CLAGS, check out their website at http://www.clags.org/.