This year's Isom Student Gender Conference will be held in the Student Union Auditorium (124) and will feature a keynote by Dr. Jules Gill-Peterson and pre- and post-conference events in partnership with the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement, and the Oxford Conference for the Book.
About the Keynote: Finding Mary Jones in New Orleans: Unfinishing Black Trans History
Where does the association of trans womanhood and sex work come from? This talk considers the remarkable life of Mary Jones, a Black trans woman arrested in 1836 in New York City. At trial, Jones testified to the Black social world in which she lived and worked, including a reference to visiting New Orleans. Following the riddle of her journey from New York to the Mississippi Valley, Jones prompts how trans womanhood as a modern way of life may have been built into the emergence of the service economy in the antebellum era, with Black gender caught in the contradictions and symbiosis between enslaved labor and wage labor.
The keynote will also service as the Lucy Somerville Howorth Lecture and the Trans Studies Lecture for 2023.
The keynote is scheduled for 4 PM on March 23rd.
Southtalk: “Truman Capote, Ellen DeGeneres, and Miley Cyrus: Southern Stars and the South’s Queer Myths” presented by Tison Pugh
How do queer southern celebrities adapt the myths of the South to burnish their star personas? This presentation examines three vastly different queer southern stars—Truman Capote, Ellen DeGeneres, and Miley Cyrus—to consider the ways in which the South’s mythologies influence their presentation of their selves, their star personas, and their sexualities. Capote embodied gothic southern decadence during an era of blanket homophobia, DeGeneres presented herself as an avatar of kindness until the façade crumbled, and Cyrus crossed red state/blue state borders first by enacting the tween fantasies of Hannah Montana and then by representing a new brand of out and proud pansexuality. For each of these celebrities, and for a range of other southern stars, queer or not, the South is inextricably linked to their stardom, and its myths both haunt and inspire their celebrity in myriad fascinating ways. The Southtalk is sponsored by Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement.
The Southtalk is scheduled for Noon on March 22nd.
About Tison Pugh:
Tison Pugh, Pegasus Professor of English at the University of Central Florida, is the author or editor of over twenty volumes. His book The Queer Fantasies of the American Family Sitcom won the 2019 Popular Culture Association John Leo and Dana Heller Award for the Best Work in LGBTQ Studies. He is the author of Truman Capote: A Literary Life at the Movies, Precious Perversions: Humor, Homosexuality, and the Southern Literary Canon, and Queer Chivalry: Medievalism and the Myth of White Masculinity in Southern Literature.
An Oxford Conference for the Book Warm-Up Event: Celebration of Hubert Creekmore’s The Welcome
Violet Valley Bookstore and Bozarts Gallery, Water Valley, Mississippi
This event begins at 5:30 on March 24th at the Violet Valley Bookstore.
Sponsored by the Oxford Conference for the Book