Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 7, Issue 2
spring 2017
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

WGSS Colloquium and Working Group

by Yuhe Faye Wang and Sam Huber

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We started this semester’s WGSS Working Group series with a room full of students excited to hold a conversation with Professor and MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine. Students discussed Professor Rankine’s essay on racism, power, and everyday life in elite writing spaces. In our second Working Group event, students spoke with Professor Greta LaFleur on the introduction to her upcoming book exploring discourses of race and sexuality in eighteenth century Anglo-America. Our last Working Group event was held on April 24 with Professor Zethu Matebeni and is still forthcoming at the writing of this article. Professor Matebeni is currently a Visiting Professor in the WGSS department and is visiting from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Each of our events highlight the deep interdisciplinarity of WGSS through their work from a variety of specializations and methodologies.

Our three spring Colloquium meetings brought together graduate students from across the university to share and learn from each other’s work. In January, Efe Igor (GSAS, History) untangled the relationship between objectification and agency in Ernest Cole’s famous photograph of a South African medical exam room, and Shawn Ta (GSAS, East Asian Languages and Literatures) highlighted the conflation of homosexuality with orphan identity in Taiwanese literature from the colonial past into the present day.  At our second meeting Thuto Thipe (GSAS, History) explored representations of urban black masculinity in early twentieth century South Africa, while Brandon Menke (GSAS, English) read Hart Crane’s “At Melville’s Tomb” as a complex intercourse between poet and reader. Our final session featured Randa Tawil (GSAS, American Studies) tracing Syrian migrants’ crossings of the U.S.-Mexican border at the turn of the twentieth century, and Wannes Dupont (BAEF Cabeaux-Jacobs Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities) shared new research on anti-gay politics in Cold War Europe.

We look forward to our final upcoming Working Group meeting with Professor Matebeni. Thank you to all the faculty and students who presented at our events and to everyone in our vibrant community of scholars who attended them. We appreciated having an opportunity to engage with all of you!
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