Please join the Department of English for the 49th Annual Nina Mae Kellogg Awards
featuring guest speaker Jack Halberstam, University of Southern California (USC)
Monday, May 13th
Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom 335
Portland State University
1825 SW Broadway
This event is free and open to the public.
Lecture Topic: “No Church in the Wild: Queer Anarchy and Gaga Feminism
One of punk’s enduring anthems by way of The Stranglers back in 1977 was “No More Heroes”—“Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky? He got an ice pick, that made his ears burn. . . .” For The Stranglers this meant reconciling to the end of Socialism, the end of revolutionary hopes and the beginning of different kinds of political projects less oriented to heroics and heroes and more modest and anarchistic in form and content. My project begins an exploration of an anarchist trajectory—precisely at the place where the faith in socialism and its continued belief in heroes, normative families and top down rule ends. We are looking to anarchistic modes of being for a project that reconciles itself to the limits of the human and in the process produces new forms of politics that lacks leaders, refuse redemption and try to break with masculinist logics of heroic rebellion. In this talk I want to follow a trail of potentially anarchistic and avowedly queer image making to see where it may lead, to ask what aesthetics emerge from this derive, what worlds can be glimpsed, what new modes of distraction, disruption and disorder they offer us and what, finally, queerness looks like in the wild.
About the Speaker
Jack Halberstam is Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity and Gender Studies at University of Southern California. He is a well-known gender theorist, specializing in cultural studies, queer theory and visual culture. His many books include early groundbreaking work on non-male masculinities in Female Masculinity and Drag Kings: Queer Masculinities in Focus, along with Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters on Gothic monstrosity in literature and film. Later work includes his study of transgender visibility in contemporary queer subcultures titled In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives. In the last two years, two new books have emerged, The Queer Art of Failure, which questions conventional notions of success in post-capitalist culture, and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal, an exploration of contemporary cultural practices such as transgendered men and women, in vitro fertilization, and queer families, which challenge the hetero-normative. It is from this latter book that his Kellogg talk will be drawn.
Click here to learn more about the awards and to see past recipients.