Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Volume 4, Issue 1
fall 2013
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Craig Canfield
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

PhotoLGBT Studies Chair’s Letter

I am honored to describe some of the special events supported by LGBT Studies this autumn. We began this school term still awash in the champagne memories of the overturning of DOMA, an event which continues to have profound and intimate reverberations within our communities. “Marriage equality has singular legal, cultural and practical significance,” wrote George Chauncey, former LGBT Studies chair and professor of history at Yale in a June 2013 op-ed column for the New York Times, “Nonetheless, it was not the first issue to animate the struggle for equality and dignity—nor will it be the last.” Such a symbolic moment is the result of an increasingly conscientious public, one informed in part by the arguments, histories, and analyses produced in university classrooms and through academic research.

Our community is sustained through the extraordinary efforts of our visionary faculty and their successful collaborations with a wide network of students and administrators committed to scholarly research and curricular programming focused on LGBT issues. For example, ever since his arrival at Yale in 2006, Ron Gregg has applied his incomparable energies to the promotion of LGBT film. This includes his work on specifically queer cinema as well as his renowned queer readings of classical Hollywood. This fall, with generous support from the James C. Mandelbaum Resource Fund for LGBT Studies, Ron organized a Postwar Queer Avant-garde Film Series, which has run alongside his undergraduate seminar with the same name. In the series and the course, Ron showcases gay or bisexual filmmakers such as Willard Maas, Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, and José Rodriguez-Soltero, as well as antiheteronormative female filmmakers such as Barbara Rubin and Marie Menken.

Our strength is powerfully contingent on our collaboration with WGSS to develop sustainable institutional and intellectual resources for the exploration of gender, sexuality, and the flourishing of every human person. Emblematic of this relationship is the kind of community that emerges every year to celebrate our Brudner Prize winner. This year we honored Chicana writer, poet, playwright, and activist Cherríe L. Moraga with the 2013-14 James Robert Brudner '83 Memorial Prize. Perhaps best known for co-editing, with Gloria Anzaldúa, the anthology of feminist thought This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981), Moraga spoke to two large audiences at Yale, inspiring new generations with her reflections on the ongoing social relevance of queer feminism.

LGBT Studies funds have also supported several other events on campus, including a conversation with video artist Richard Fung; a talk by Albie Sachs, the world-renowned anti-apartheid activist who, as a judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, authored the decision that overthrew South Africa’s law banning same-sex marriage; a lecture and conversation with Bernard Harcourt, Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Political Science at The University of Chicago; as well as support for screenings of We Were Here (2011), a documentary about the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, and United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (2012), a documentary about the birth and life of the AIDS activist movement ACT UP; and the 2013 New England Festival of Ibero American Cinema. In addition, LGBT Studies has contributed to celebrations like the Second LGBT Alumni Reunion in September and Trans*/Gender Awareness Week at Yale in November. In every space, LGBT Studies continues to offer unparalleled intellectual and administrative support for the promotion of LGBT issues and research in the study of sexuality.

We are deeply grateful to all our alumni and other allies across the globe and across the generations for their energy and support. We hope to see you at events on campus and to hear from you if you have any suggestions. Keep up to date with us at http://lgbts.yale.edu.
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