Bodies of Evidence: Policing Queer Bodies

10/23/2015 - 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Young Library Auditorium
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
Carol Mason, Toby Beauchamp, Charlie Zhang, Ellen Riggle

The University of Kentucky's Gaines Center for the Humanities and the Department of Gender and Women's Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences are teaming up with the Office of LGBTQ* Resources, the Martin Luther King Center, the African American and Africana Studies Program and Black Student Union to present three events exploring violence against members of the LGBTQ* and Black communities as part of a series of workshops on violence and the human condition. 

Upcoming Nov 16 and Nov 18 Events:

Fittingly with the U.S. Supreme Court simultaneously deciding to uphold the right for same-sex marriage and to retract important aspects of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the second part of the series is "Policing Black Bodies." This panel discussion will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Young Library Auditorium. The three scholars featured in this event will provide critical commentary, transnational connections and historical contexts for current struggles with violence against African and African-American communities. A Q&A session will be held at the end of this event, followed by a reception.

Melynda J. Price, director of the African American and Africana Studies Program and the Robert E. Harding Jr. Professor of Law at UK, will open the panel for "Policing Black Bodies." She is the author of "At the Cross: Race, Religion and Citizenship in the Politics of the Death Penalty."

The second speaker of the session will be Melissa Stein, assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at UK and author of "Measuring Manhood: Race and the Science of Masculinity, 1830-1934," newly published this fall.

Kevin Mumford, professor of history at University of Illinois and author of numerous books on Black history, including "Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America," rounds out the panel.

A special ancillary event, a film screening of the documentary "Let the Fire Burn" and a poster session analyzing the contemporary Black Lives Matter movement, will be held in the days leading up to the second panel discussion. The film will be screened at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at Young Library Auditorium. The poster session will be held in the adjacent Alumni Gallery and will feature poster presentations of research on recent killings of unarmed black people in the United States by students currently enrolled in Stein’s "GWS 595 - Crime & Punishment: Race & Ferguson in Historical Context."

Carol Mason, department chair of Gender & Women's Studies, radiates enthusiasm about the student engagement in this series. "I am so grateful for Dr. Stein for her innovative pedagogy and very excited to see the posters that students have created in her class on 'Crime and Punishment.' This is the kind of real-world application of interdisciplinary scholarship that makes gender and women’s studies such a transformative experience for students."

The College of Arts and Sciences and the Gaines Center are sponsoring a year of programming around the broad theme of "Violence and the Human Condition." Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, faculty members from many different UK departments will collaborate with each other and with visiting experts from other universities in a series of mini-conferences and workshops that will be free and open to the campus as a whole.

The partnership will explore the theme of violence across many different registers — architecture and conflict, political violence, war and gender, transnational dimensions of violence, the intersections of violence in Latin America, and the notion of war without end as a metaphor in contemporary life.

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