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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Media Contact: Jan Wenzel, 874-2116

URI to host symposium, daylong workshop
on gay & lesbian issues, April 3, 4, & 5

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 11, 2003 -- The University of Rhode Island will host the ninth annual gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer issues symposium and workshop April 3 through 5. The topic of this year’s gathering is "Being GLBTQ: Representation, Affirmation, and Beyond."

This is an age when gay characters are commonplace on prime time television, when gay books and authors make The New York Times bestseller list, and when references to the "gay gene" appear frequently in the daily newspaper.

This symposium will question how accurately the media, pop culture, academic, political, and scientific representations reflect the lives of gays. Are these representations enough, or is it time to look beyond them?

Symposium presenters -- researchers, academics, activists, artists and students--will discuss a range of topics including the representation of lesbians on television (Ellen’s transition, Willow’s continual coming out), considerations of activism (ACT-UP and GLAAD as examples), the law and GLBT folks (civil rights movements in Rhode Island and Maine). The New York Poets will examine the symposium’s events through poetry. (Schedule attached.) For a complete list of events, visit

An addition to this year’s symposium is a daylong workshop on Saturday, April 5 designed to explore important issues in the lives of GLBTQ individuals. Shared values about community, nurturance, affection, altruism and service will be examined, as well as information that contradicts one-dimensional stereotypic versions of GLBT persons.

Two professionals, who have worked extensively with lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals will facilitate. David Nimmons, author of Soul Beneath the Skin: The Hidden Hearts and Habits of Gay Men, will lead the men’s group. He is founder of Manifest Love, a program for gay men that seeks to link creative forms of community building and social action. Judith Scarfpin of East Greenwich, a licensed psychologist in Rhode Island, will lead the women’s group. Her clinical efforts focus on "backstage" life issues and strengths of individuals and how relationships further identity development from the inside out.

The goal of the workshop is to help make explicit the kind of lives GLBTQ persons want. How do they discover and know who they are? How do they deal with individuals and society that tells them who they are? How do healthy relationships further identity? The workshop will look at the reactions from family, friends, and lovers, from work and school associates, religious organizations, and society. The discussions will take place in an atmosphere of safety and respect, with safeguards for privacy and sensitive information.

The workshop will include large and small group work, individual exercises and an opportunity for self-reflection. The format will utilize morning and afternoon parallel groups, one will be gay-male focused, while the other will be less gender specific. Participants of all gender identities are welcome and encouraged to share fully in the workshops. A late afternoon session will bring the two groups together to discuss insights and ideas that were identified in the earlier sessions.

The workshop is free and open to participants and attendees of the symposium or others who come to URI for just this program. A free buffet lunch will be provided. For more information, about the workshop or the colloquium, contact Andrew Winters, assistant to the vice president for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Programs and Services at URI at 401-874-2894.

For advanced workshop registration please e-mail Tuen Atreides at
Schedule of Events

The following is a detailed schedule of events for the ninth annual gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer issues symposium and workshop hosted by the University of Rhode Island. All events will be held in the Galanti Lounge of the URI Library unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, April 3
8 a.m. Registration
8:45 a.m. Opening Remarks – Andrew Winters, URI

PANEL I: 9 to 9:55 a.m.
Working For Us, Working Against Us: The Law and GLBT Folk
Grassroots Goes to the Polls: Discourse and Identity in Maine’s Campaigns for Civil Rights, Kimberly Simmons, University of Southern Maine.
The Trans-Inclusive Language Added to the Rhode Island Anti-Discrimination Law: How It Came to Be There and What It Means Now, Gavi Wolfe, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

PANEL II: 10 to 11:25 a.m.
GLBT Representation in Literature: Three Portraits
Gender Transgressiveness: Identity and Politics in Gertrude Stein’s Paris France and Wars I Have Seen, Jean Mills, CUNY/The Graduate Center
"(Re)Presenting the Baby Dyke: The Evolution of Lesbian Protagonists in Young Adult Fiction, Holly Wagg, Concordia University
Dis Here Topia Rocks! The Role of Homosexuality in the World of Susan Slutt, Girl Detective, Michael G. Cornelius, Wilson College

PANEL III: 11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.
I Don’t Have a Name: Queer Teenagers Representing Themselves, Derek W. Attig, Beloit College

12:30 to 1:50 p.m. LUNCH

PANEL IV: 2 to 3:45 p.m.
A Picture Says a Thousand (Hurtful) Words: Representation and the Media
She-Male Psychos: Exploring the Mass-Mediated Transgendered Serial Killer, Joelle Ruby Ryan, University of New Hampshire and director of New Hampshire Transgender Resources for Education and Empowerment. (Un) knowable Bodies: The Troubling Use of AIDS in the Commemoration of Princess Diana’s Death, " Jason Morgan, Concordia University. Straight Acting: Questioning Gay Men and Masculinity, N. Silas M. Munro, Rhode Island School of Design. Bear as Folk: Hirsute Masculinity in the Gay and Mainstream Media, Ron Suresha, author of Bears on Bears: Interviews and Discussions and editor of Bearotica

PANEL V: 3:50 to 5 p.m.
We Family: Three Views of Black Kinship and Queerness, Tisa Bryant, Naima Lowe, Elen Gebreab, all from Brown University

PANEL VI: 5 to 5:25 p.m.
Family Portraits, Christina M. Molieri, Temple University

5:30 to 6:50 p.m. Dinner on Your Own

PANEL V: 7 to 7:55 p.m.
Voices from the Underground: The DIY Queer Zine Scene, -REB Fanorama zine / Wiener Society Publisher

PANEL VI: 8 to 8:55 p.m.
"I Want My GLBT-V": Representations on Television
Willow’s Continual Coming Out, Deany M. Cheramie, Xavier University of Louisiana; Muted Sexuality: Prime Time Assimilation, or Look Ma No Sex and No Politics! JoAnne Myers, Marist College.

8 a.m. Continuing registration
8:20 a.m. Opening Remarks

PANEL VII: 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.
Queer High Modernism; Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy, John Leo, Stephen Barber, URI; Jeff King, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

PANEL VIII: 10 to 11:25 a.m.
Those Who Represent Us: Three Considerations of Activism
Representing ACT-UP as History: A Movement That’s Over and a Crisis That Isn’t, Christopher Capozzola, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Altar Ego: GLAAD Sacrifices Male Intimacy to the Media Gods, James Black, Susquehanna University, Transgressing Boundaries: Trans Liberation and the Politics of Gay/Lesbian and Feminist Exclusions. Brian Kelley, Rutgers University

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m.
The Spiritual Lives of God’s GLBT Adult Children: A Workshop -Reverend Mary E. Latela, United Church of Christ

12:30 to 1:50 p.m.: Lunch

PANEL X: 2 to 2:55 p.m.
Constructing and Representing Black and Gay Identities
Being and Becoming: On the Social Construction of Identity Among Gay, Black, Urban, Male Youth- Kevin M. Moseby, Stanford University
What It Feels Like For a (Black, Gay, HIV+) Boy: The Politics of Race in Representing the AIDS Pandemic -Chris Bell, independent scholar, Chicago

PANEL XI: 3 to 3:55 p.m.
Representation Sans Borders: Global Perspectives
Parisian Portraits of Gay America: Representation, Fantasy, and Emulation (1969-1992), Zachary Wyman, Middlebury College; Western Lenses on Male Same-Sex Relationality in Pashtun Afghanistan, Stephanie M. Skier, Harvard University

PANEL XII: 4 to 5:45 p.m.
It’s Not Just a Theory: Queer Theory and Representation
Academic Autobiography and the Contingency of Queer Visibility, Adale Sholock, SUNY-Binghamton, Doing (away with) the Daddy: The Politics of Castration in Leo Bersani’s Homos, Helena Gurfinkel, Tufts University; Toward a Trans-Inclusive Queer Theory (or a Theory-Inclusive Trans Studies), Gayle Salamon, Brown University
Sexual Politics, Identity, and Second Class Education: An Integrative Approach to Teaching Students About the Legitimacy of the LGBT Community, Benjamin Brenkert, Hunter College

5:45. to 7:30 p.m.: Dinner on Your Own

7:30 p.m.
Coffeehouse and PANEL XIII (Place TBA)
Those Who We Wish to Represent Us, Scott Hightower, Fordham University, author of Tin Can Tourist, David Pratt, Ron Mohring, editor at West Branch Magazine, David Groff, Peter Covino, editor of Barrow Street Magazine
Join a sampling of poets and prose writers at an informal coffeehouse.

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