Professor McRuer’s Students to Hold Public Symposium

Inside the St. Vitius Cathedral near the Prague Castle

Professor Robert McRuer’s annual fall class, “Transnational Queer Film Studies and LGBTQ Cultures,” was held again this fall.  This was the fifth instantiation of the class, which is taught at GW every fall, but which is simultaneously taught in Prague to students from the Czech Republic (and across Europe) by Professor Kateřina Kolářová of the Charles University Gender Studies Program.  For one week each November, Professor McRuer’s students travel to Prague to meet their counterparts and to attend together the Mezipatra Queer Film Festival (Mezipatra means “mezzanine” in Czech, signifying a place in-between, in the middle).  This course is offered in partnership with the Short-Term Study Abroad Program. From November 7-15, 2012, the two classes met daily together for several hours each day to talk about what they had been studying all semester and about the films that they watched during the week’s attendance at the film festival (the festival’s theme this year was Power/Manipulation/Madness).  This innovative class is, for many students, one of the highlights of their GW education, and is also (for some students) part of GW’s new LGBT Studies Minor (housed in the Women’s Studies Program).

This semester was an especially rich one for students in DC, who were not only able to study with Professors McRuer and Kolářová, but with some of the most prominent figures in queer theory and gender studies writing today.  J. Jack Halberstam was Professor-in-Residence for a week in October and GW, and held several talks and events in relation to his current work around the recently-published Gaga Feminism.  Professor Halberstam was a special guest of the class in DC on October 3, 2012.  In Prague, Professor Jasbir K. Puar was a special guest of both the Mezipatra Festival and GW, and gave a riveting presentation to students on her most recent work on Palestine/Israel, “pinkwashing” in Israel and queer activism in Palestine, and the ways in which not only sexuality but disability figures into these processes and conflicts.
The students in the class invite you to attend a public symposium to highlight their work-in-progress emerging from the class.  Three sessions will be held this Saturday, December 8, in Rome Hall 771.  The schedule is below.  Come out and support this innovative student work and this unique class!
Transnational Queer Film Studies and LGBTQ Cultures Symposium
Session 1. 11 AM-12:15 PM
Sally Kaplan, “Wig in a Box: Hedwig the Midnight Check-Out Queen and the Queer Art of Failure”
Chelsey Faloona, “Bounded Bodies and Tortured Borders: BDSM and the Edge of Homonormativity”
Salem Srour, “Gay Fucking Communist Fags: Towards a Riot”
Session 2. 1-2:15 PM
Ryan Manning Cooper, “(Re)Visiting Twinkopolis: Identity, Commonwealth, and Telepresent Tourism in Transnational MSM Pornography”
Brenna Markle, “Kentucky Fried Culture”
D. Gilson, “Hipster Boys Wear American Apparel Briefs: Complex Universality in Weekend
Session 3. 2:30 PM-3:45 PM
Tanya Ahmady, “Coming Out Lesbian in Chinese-American Culture”
Jen Gushue, “Tomboy/Tomgirl/Tombody: The Genderfluid Child as the Performative Other”
Molly Lewis, “An Out and Proud Black Lesbian’s ‘Leap of Faith’ and the Particular Dangers of Queer South African Progress Narratives”

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