February 23, 2012
Because of the winter break and the start of the semester, we have been asked to extend the deadline for paper proposals to next September’s conference inspired by the life and work of Harry Hay. Even though we have received a wide array of very interesting applications, we’ve decided to
push back the deadline a few more weeks to February 29th.
If you have already applied, thank you for your application and we appreciate your patience with this new deadline. If you haven’t applied, please take a look at the CFP below. We imagine the conference to be a wide-ranging one, which is both historical and contemporary in its emphases. If you think your work might fit, please send us a proposal, and of course encourage friends or colleagues to do so as well.
CALL FOR PAPERS:
Radically Gay: The Life & Visionary Legacy of Harry Hay
September 27-30, 2012, New York City
In celebration of the centennial of the birth of LGBT pioneer Harry Hay, CLAGS (the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies at CUNY) and the Harry Hay Centennial Committee invite proposals for a broad-reaching conference exploring key facets of LGBT life and their evolution over the last six
Harry Hay’s life and his impact on LGBT history and culture were extraordinary, and the range of his activities was terrifically diverse. In the 1930s and ‘40s, his involvement in progressive politics,
avant-garde art, and the Communist Party all shaped and influenced his formulation of the idea that LGBT people were a distinct “cultural minority” who needed to become conscious of themselves as a people and organize for their own liberation. With that insight, he co-founded the Mattachine Society in the 1950s and helped launch the modern LGBT liberation movement. He was an organizer of the first Radical Faerie gathering in 1979 and remained an active participant and inspirational figure in LGBT movements until his death in 2002. In addition, as a gay activist Hay committed himself to a larger progressive agenda, working in the anti-war movement, on behalf of
Native Peoples, and within Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. As an intellectual, Hay devoted himself to anthropological and historical research about the origins and meaning of LGBT lives, social roles and consciousness. His research focused particular energy on two-spirit people among Native Americans and matrilineal cultures.
Given this rich array of interests, the conference organizers seek to gather scholars, public intellectuals, activists, students, and artists who will take inspiration from Hay’s life and ideas in order to think together about several strands of LGBT living. In particular, the conference will explore four central themes inspired by and reflective of Hay’s life and times: LGBT arts, political activism, spirituality and sexual identities.
We welcome proposals for full panels, individual research papers, artistic presentations, and “state of the debate” discussions. We are certainly interested in proposals about Hay’s life itself and any of its many facets. At the same time, we very much encourage proposals that explore and debate
how the questions raised and confronted by Hay have continued to evolve. To that end, papers may be historical, theoretical, contemporary or future-oriented and may address, but need not be limited to, any of the following thematic topics:
- Significance of Mattachine and homophile political groups, their evolution, and relation to gay liberation activism
- Importance (or not) of homophile and other LGBT political leaders
- Sexuality on the Left
- LGBT radicalism and separatism vs mainstream politics and assimilation
- Coalition-building vs single-issue politics
- Youth as a political constituency
- Assessing LGBT organizing strategies and utopian goals
- Mapping an LGBT agenda for the 21st-century
- Historical, cultural, and religious aspects of the Radical Faerie movement
- LGBT perspectives on religion, theology, and spirituality
- LGBT influence on, and conflicts with, mainstream and alternative religions
- Linking the spiritual and the sexual
- Politics of spirituality
- Connections to the natural world
- Queer mysticism, shamanism and spiritual practice
- Ancient roots of queer spirituality
- Native Peoples’ spiritualities
- Harry Hay’s artistic world: John Cage, Will Geer, Lester Horton, Leftist theater, etc.
- Past/present fears of LGBT artistic power (e.g. 1950s “homintern”)
- Representations of LGBT lives in contemporary/historical popular culture
- Past/present uses of art as tool of LGBT political activism (e.g. Gran Fury)
- Role of folk & popular music for political organizing (e.g. People’s Song)
- LGBT contributions to 20th-century avant-garde and popular arts
- Defining a queer aesthetic sensibility
- Studies of specific significant queer artists
- The evolving identities of LGBT/Queer/Questioning/Hetero-flexible/Trans People & others
- The meaning of gender in the LGBT world
- Homophile Gay Queer: differences, overlaps, and relations
- Lesbians & Gay men: past/present/future alliances and cleavages
- Class and socioeconomic issues within LGBT organizing
- Transgender inclusions/exclusions
- Queer archetypes
- Meaning of “gay consciousness”
- Identity as “natural,” “historical,” or “learned”
- Two-spirit tradition and alternative gender roles in non-Western cultures
- The future of sexual identities
For each paper proposed, please submit a 300-word abstract and a 2-page CV for the presenter. If you wish to propose a 3- or 4- person panel, please submit a separate abstract & CV for each paper, and an additional abstract of the panel. All proposals should be sent to Daniel Hurewitz at email@example.com by February 29, 2012, with “Hay Centennial” in the subject line.
We may have space to display/screen some artworks and present some performances along the thematic lines above: if that interests you, please email Daniel Hurewitz at the address above and submit a handful of images or performance selections either as a zip file, downloadable file, or DVD
by February 29, 2012. If the latter, please send to Daniel Hurewitz, c/o CLAGS, 365 Fifth Avenue, Room 7115, New York NY 10016.