David A. Gerstner, author of Manly Arts: Masculinity and Nation in Early American Cinema (Duke, University Press, 2006), discusses the cultural and political anxieties that unfolded following the PBS presentation of Marlon Riggs’ Tongues Untied (1989). Riggs’ provocative exploration of inter-racial homosexuality and AIDS infuriated a good number of moral custodians—black and white. The Christian Broadcast Network, for example, referred to Tongues Untied as ‘This Summer’s Version of the Mapplethorpe Controversy’ while some black scholars accused Riggs of failing to live up to the film’s “revolutionary” call for black men to love black men, especially since his lover was white. What did the Christian ideologues see in Riggs’ work that so disturbed their white and heterosexual sensibilities? Why did many African Americans take offense at what they viewed as Riggs’ “seduction” by and “admiration” for white culture? In what way did Riggs’ (and Mapplethorpe’s) visualization of the queer look raise the ante on the homosexual look, pleasure, and, ultimately, death?
The Library, 2nd Floor, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 West 12th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues), New York City. 4-6pm. Free and open to the public
Preceded by a work in progress:
‘Border Crossing and Queer Screen Masculinity: The Case of Ferzan Özpetek’s Il bagno turco – Hamam (1996)’ – Gaoheng Zhang, PhD candidate in the Department of Italian Studies, NYU.
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University.
Hosted by Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.
The Library, 2nd Floor, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, 24 West 12th Street.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)