'Sex in the Stacks' symposium at Cornell University Library, Sept. 28

ITHACA, N.Y. -- "Sex in the Stacks: A Zwickler Memorial Symposium on Sexuality and the Archives" will be held in Cornell University's Kroch Library Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the library's Level 2B. It is free and open to the public.

Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grants, made possible by support from the Phil Zwickler Charitable and Memorial Foundation, have been awarded for the first time this year to provide financial assistance to scholars conducting research on sexuality with sources in Cornell Library's Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The first two Zwickler fellows -- Professor Leisa D. Meyer, College of William and Mary, and Professor William B. Turner, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee -- have done extensive research with Cornell's Human Sexuality Collection this summer. Additional funding for Meyer was provided through Cornell Law Professor Martha Fineman's Dorothea S. Clarke fund. Meyer, Turner and a panel of scholars will report on their research findings during the symposium and discuss the practicalities and theoretical considerations involved in conducting original research in human sexuality.

"We hope attendees will be inspired to embark upon their own research with Cornell's Human Sexuality Collection and other great library sources in this subject," said Brenda Marston, curator of the Human Sexuality Collection. "We hope this daylong event will inspire other Cornell students, undergraduate and graduate, as well as members of the public, to take up research in this field. By exposing them to the methods of archival research in an engaging way, we hope to open up the doors of primary source research."

Phil Zwickler, a filmmaker and journalist who devoted his talents to communicating ideas about lesbian and gay rights and the AIDS crisis, died in 1991 at age 36. Documentation of his life and work are preserved in Cornell's Human Sexuality Collection, which seeks to encourage the study of sexuality and sexual politics by preserving and making accessible relevant primary sources that document historical social shifts in human sexuality. The Sept. 28 event is sponsored at Cornell by the Human Sexuality Collection, Lesbian Bisexual and Gay Studies, and the Feminism and Legal Theory Project.

Symposium schedule:

10-11:45 a.m.: Welcome, introduction: Professor Leisa D. Meyer, College of William and Mary: "Sexuality in America: A History Since World War II."

10-11:45 a.m.:

1-3 p.m.: "Researching Sexuality," a panel moderated by Amy Villarejo, Cornell assistant professor of film studies, feminist and gay studies. Speakers include: Robert Odom, Cornell graduate student in English, "The Soiled Sheets of Literary Study, or What the Chambermaid Saw"; Monika Mehta, University of California-Berkeley graduate student in film studies, "A Banal Inquiry: The Censorship of Sexuality in Bombay Cinema"; Adam Romero '02, Cornell, "Citizenship, Sexuality and the Family: Theoretical Interventions, Policy Implications"; David Agruss, Cornell graduate student in comparative literature, "Dirty Work: Sexuality, Archives, History."

3:30-4:45 p.m.: Professor William B. Turner, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, "The New Civil Rights: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Politics and Policy in the United States, 1975-2000."

4:45-6 p.m.: Reception and highlights from the Human Sexuality Collection.

The symposium is co-sponsored at Cornell by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education; the Department of History; the Society for the Humanities; Haven; Peer Educators in Human Relations; Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies; the departments of Comparative Literature and Government; LGBT Resource Center; and the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development.

For more information about the Human Sexuality Collection or the Zwickler research grants, contact Brenda Marston at bjm4@cornell.edu or (607) 255-3530.


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