Discussion-based Colloquium with Prof. Jane Ward on her book "Not Gay" | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh
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Discussion-based Colloquium with Prof. Jane Ward on her book "Not Gay"

March 15, 2017 - 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Speaker/Participants: 
For Graduate students and Faculty

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Although the U.S. media has recently been abuzz with commentary about sexual fluidity, most accounts have focused on “girls who kiss girls” for the pleasure of male spectators, or men of color “on the down low” who are presumed to be gay and in the closet.  But where do white men—the dominant culture’s most normalized and idealized figures—fit in to these narratives?

​In this provocative book, Jane Ward follows straight white men’s homosexual encounters across numerous sites—from biker gangs and public bathrooms to college fraternities and the United States military—illustrating the unique ways that whiteness and masculinity converge to circumvent the cultural surveillance applied to men of color.  Ward shows that the homosexual contact of straight white men is hardly an accident; instead, it does a good deal of productive work for white heteromasculinity.  When white men approach homosexual sex in the “right” way—when they make a show of imposing it and enduring it—it functions to bolster not only their heterosexuality, but also their masculinity and whiteness. By taking sex between straight white men as its point of departure, Not Gay offers a new way to think about heterosexuality—not as the opposite or absence of homosexuality, but as its own unique mode of engaging homosexual sex, a mode characterized by pretense, disidentification and racialized heteronormative investments.lity, but also their masculinity and whiteness. By taking sex between straight white men as its point of departure, Not Gay offers a new way to think about heterosexuality—not as the opposite or absence of homosexuality, but as its own unique mode of engaging homosexual sex, a mode characterized by pretense, disidentification and racialized heteronormative investments.

 

Professor Ward will also give a lecture on her current book project on the fragility of heteronormativity on Thursday afternoon. 

Cosponsored by the Humanities Center and the Year of Diversity at Pitt.

This event is part of a cluster of spring term events on masculinities. For more masculinities events, click here.

 

For more information on Prof. Ward, see http://www.janewardphd.com/index.html

For information on the book up for discussion, see:

http://www.amazon.com/Not-Gay-between-Straight-Cultures/dp/1479825174

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