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Open Bodies, Closed Subjects: Medical Attention and Queer Identity

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GerShun Avilez joins CTSG Brighton for a guest lecture and Q+A, presenting work from his new book 'Black Queer Freedom'.

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Event description:

In this talk, Avilez explores how medical attention can define and control queer bodies--even in attempts to be helpful. Avilez shows how artists undermine such efforts to control these bodies and the public’s knowledge about them by using shielding narrative strategies to imagine a space of freedom. He offers an analysis of literature through engagements with medical humanities alongside queer and trans theory to present a conception of radical Black queer identity.

This talk draws from GerShun's recently published book, Black Queer Freedom (2020, University of Illinois Press), available here.

Bio:

GerShun Avilez is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a cultural studies scholar who specializes in contemporary African American and Black Diasporic literatures and visual cultures. Much of his scholarship explores how questions of gender and sexuality inform artistic production. He has published two books: Radical Aesthetics and Modern Black Nationalism (2016) and Black Queer Freedom (2020). He has written essays on a range of historical and cultural subjects, including the Cold War, segregation narratives, early African American writing, race & terror, social death, queer life, experimental poetry, Black women’s writing, the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power gender politics, and the Black Arts Movement.

Donations welcome:

Dr Avilez has kindly offered this talk free of charge, though we encourage participants to donate towards CTSG's postgraduate scholarship for trans and non-binary students. You will have the opportunity to donate to the scholarship fund during the lecture. You may also contact us directly at sexgencentre@brighton.ac.uk

Further details

This event will consist of a 40-minute presentation by Dr Avilez, followed by a Q+A moderated by Dr Stephanie Davis*, University of Brighton. The lecture will be recorded and uploaded to the CTSG website, whilst the Q+A will not.

For further information or to raise a concern please contact sexgencentre@brighton.ac.uk

* Dr Stephanie Davis (she/her, dey/dem) is a scholar-activist with an interest in the intersections of race, gender and sexuality. She received her PhD in Psychology from the University of Brighton and this was titled Being a Queer and/or Trans Person of Colour in the UK: Psychology, Intersectionality and Subjectivity. Stephanie is currently a Research Officer on the NIHR-funded Queer Futures 2 project which explores mental health support for LGBTQ youth in the UK and how this can be improved.

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