4th Annual Bodies of Knowledge Symposium Features Authors Who Examine Familial Homophobia And What It Means To Be Gay And Lesbian In The South

October 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. – The 4th Annual Bodies of Knowledge Symposium will be held at the University of South Carolina Upstate on Thursday, October 28 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Campus Life Center Ballroom. This year’s event features a very dynamic and nationally-renowned keynote speaker, in addition to a reading by a local author and a musical performance by Washington, D.C.-based hip hop duo.

The Bodies of Knowledge Symposium kicks-off with free food and a musical performance by The Lost Bois, a hip-hop duo whose mission is “to make silly-sexy music for struggling folks who need it the most.”  You can view their performance on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWBw3q0iZTY.

Dr. Ed Madden, a poet, political activist, and associate professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of South Carolina, is also a local Hub City Writers Press author. At 6:15 p.m., Madden will read from his newly-edited collection, Out Loud: The Best of Rainbow Radio, which contains stories will inspire you, enrage you, and transform the way you think about what it means to be gay and lesbian in the South.

Sarah Schulman, author of Ties that Bind: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, will deliver the keynote address at 7:00 p.m. In her book Schulman states that “familial homophobia” is a phenomenon that until now has not had a name but that is very much a part of life for the LGBT community. Whether they are excluded from family love and approval, expected to accept second-class status for life, ignored by mainstream arts and entertainment, or abandoned when intervention would make all the difference, gay people are routinely subjected to forms of psychological and physical abuse unknown to many straight Americans. With devastating examples, Schulman clarifies how abusive treatment of homosexuals at home enables abusive treatment of homosexuals in other relationships as well as in society at large.

Schulman is the author of nine novels, four nonfiction books, and numerous plays. A recipient of a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, Schulman is a professor of English at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, and a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.

For more information, contact Dr. Merri Lisa Johnson, director of women’s and gender studies at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5724 or mjohnson@uscupstate.edu.