Spring 2014 Third Thursday Speaker Series

LGBT Studies Third Thursday events take place at noon in Holmes Student Center's Blackhawk Annex

February 20
"Who's the Fool? Gay and Lesbia"n Representation in Will & Grace and Rosanne"
Jimmie Manning, Assistant Professor of Communication and LGBT Studies Executive Committee Chair

This presentation makes an argument about comedic targets, or the "butt of the joke," as it plays out in two enduring cultural texts: the television programs Roseanne and Will & Grace. Using Duncan's comedic notion of the fool and situating sitcom laugh tracks as a rhetorical device, I analyze a similar storyline from each program to demonstrate that who we laugh at, when it comes to GLB representation, is important. Given that Roseanne was often decried for using homosexuality as a shock gimmick and Will & Grace is frequently praised as one of the great cultural tools for changing hearts and minds about same-sex relationships and queer identities, the results of this scholarly analysis are particularly interesting.

March 20
"Global LGBT Rights"
Trude Jacobsen, Associate Professor of History and Assistant Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies

This presentation will consider the state of LGBT rights across the globe.

April 17
"The Power and Shame of Coming Out"
Romeo Jackson, Coordinator of the  LGBT Resource Center's Straight Talk Speaker's Bureau

Coming out has been a powerful tool to create social change. Many attribute the rapid rate in the shift for marriage equality to the viability of Lesbian Gay Bisexual (LGB) folks on TV and in our families. The queer movement was built around the power of coming out, and for this reason we rarely examine the coming out narrative for fear of offending. When we hear the national narrative on coming out, rarely do we see the experiences of trans* and asexual folks represented. Often, these experiences are looked over. Because of this, the coming out process experienced by trans* and asexual people are often neglected or more problematically belittled.