The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men will open its year-long exploration of the topic, Our Bodies, Ourselves on Thursday, Sept. 19, with a lecture by Kathryn Bond Stockton, distinguished professor of English at the University of Utah. Stockton will present “Sameness, Underwear, Pleasure, and Need: What Does Queer Theory Ask Us to Do?”
She will discuss how “queer theory” (which will be both defined and explained) changes the thinking on “same-sex” relations and thus unsettles notions of “gay,” “transgendered,” and “straight” lives.
In describing her talk, Stockton writes, “Then, taking off from these interventions in sexual thought, this talk explores how queer theory, which elevates pleasure, takes on matters of power and loss, even as they touch on money and need. How might we think about the power to lose? Can a queer hedonistic ethic lubricate our practice of redistribution? Can it help us fight structural inequalities while affirming luxury?”
Stockton teaches queer theory, theories of race, the 19th-century novel, and 20th-century literature and film. Her most recent books, “Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where ‘Black’ Meets ‘Queer'” and “The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century,” published by Duke University Press, were both finalists for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies (2007 and 2010), and she has also authored “God between Their Lips: Desire between Women in Irigaray, Bronte, and Eliot” (Stanford University Press).
She has received the Crompton-Noll Prize, awarded by the Modern Language Association, for the best essay in gay and lesbian studies and, in 2011, she taught at Cornell University’s School of Criticism and Theory, where she led a seminar on “Sexuality and Childhood in a Global Frame: Queer Theory and Beyond.” This past year she was awarded the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the highest honor granted by the University of Utah.
Her talk takes place at 7:30 p.m., in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
Each semester, the Fisher Center looks to bring together the HWS community through its academic conversations to cultivate understanding and social justice in contemporary society.