Sexuality and Societies – Fall 2012

Sexuality and Societies touches upon a variety of significant current issues including legal debates over civil rights, political struggles surrounding marriage and the family, scientific queries about the “nature/nurture” divide, and cultural contestations over propriety. “Sexuality and Societies” is not only a useful site, but indeed also an imperative site, of contemporary thought, which is evident in social, literary, and scientific analyses from around the world. The purpose of this series is to bring disparate approaches and myriad voices together within this Clarke Forum theme, which will allow students, faculty, and community members to explore the ways in which conceptual notions of sexuality both reflect and affect historical and contemporary politics, societies, economies, and cultures.

Peterson Toscano

Toscano PosterTheatrical Performance Artist

Everything is Connected

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Connecting contemporary issues to his own bizarre personal experiences, literature, science, and even the odd Bible story, Peterson Toscano takes his audience on an off-beat mental mind trip. A shapeshifter, he transforms right before your eyes into a whole cast of comic characters who explore the serious worlds of gender, sexuality, privilege, religion, and environmental justice.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Center for Sustainability Education, the Office of LGBTQ Services, the Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice, the Women’s and Gender Resource Center, the Department of Religion, the Department of Theatre & Dance, and the Churchill Fund. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Toscano photoDrawing on comedy, storytelling, and history, Peterson Toscano creates original content for the stage and the Internet that inspires curiosity about climate change. Peterson’s unique personal journey led him into performance art. After spending 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to de-gay himself through gay conversion therapy, he came to his senses Read more

Gail Dines

Founding Member, Stop Porn Cultureporn culture poster

Sex, Identity and Intimacy in a Porn Culture

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

In this multi-media presentation, Dines explores how masculinity and femininity are shaped by a consumer-driven image-based culture and how pornography reproduces a gender system that encourages social and economic inequality and promotes a rape culture.  Note: This presentation contains explicit images.

A book sale and signing will follow.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Development, Women’s and Gender Resource Center and the Departments of American Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Gail web portraitBiography (provided by the speaker)
Dr. Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women’s Studies at Wheelock College in Boston, where she is also chair of the American Studies department. She has been researching and writing about the porn industry for well over twenty years. Dr. Dines is co-editor of the best-selling textbook Gender, Race and Class in Media and she has written numerous articles on pornography, media images of women and representations of race in pop culture. She is a recipient of the Myers Center Award for Read more

Ara Wilson

Ara Wilson PosterAssociate Professor of Women’s Studies and Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

The Erotic Life of Globalization

Friday, November 30, 2012
Stern Center, Great Room, 4:30 p.m.

This talk provides a new direction for thinking about sexuality at the transnational level. It focuses on the infrastructures of globalization, highlights the effects of intensified transnational links in the post-Cold-War period, and argues that transformations of sovereignty, labor, knowledge, and space provide the conditions for key forms of sexuality.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies.

imageBiography (provided by the speaker)

Ara Wilson is an associate professor of women’s studies and cultural anthropology at Duke University, where she directed the program in the study of sexualities for six years. Trained as an anthropologist, her research combines political economy, culture theory, and post-colonial, queer, and feminist frameworks to understand the operations of sexuality and gender within global capitalist modernity. She has conducted long term research on Bangkok published in The Intimate Economies of Bangkok: Tomboys, Tycoons, and Avon Ladies in the Global City (UC Press 2004) and on transnational feminist and queer politics. 

Video of the Program


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Anne Fausto-Sterling

Fausto Sterling PosterProfessor of Biology and Gender Studies, Brown University

From Babies to Gender Identity

Thursday, November 15 (Rescheduled from October 30 due to inclement weather)
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:00 p.m.

How are we to understand the processes by which bodily differentiation, behavioral differentiation and gendered knowledge intertwine to produce male and female, masculine and feminine? Read more

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Women’s Center, Institutional and Diversity Initiatives, Women’s and Gender Studies and the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology, American Studies and Sociology.

PicBiography (provided by the speaker)

Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is a leading expert in biology and gender development and has achieved recognition for works that challenge entrenched scientific beliefs while engaging with the general public. Using a groundbreaking new approach to understanding gender differences, Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling is shifting old assumptions about how humans develop particular traits. Dynamic systems theory permits one to understand how cultural difference becomes bodily difference. By applying a dynamic systems approach to the study of human development, Dr. Fausto-Sterling’s work exposes the flawed premise of the nature versus nurture debate.

Radio Interview for WDCV, Dickinson College



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Heather Love

Heather Love PosterProfessor of English, University of Pennsylvania

Gay Marriage and Its Others

Thursday, September 13, 2012
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

This lecture considers the fate of the spinster in the era of gay marriage. Through a reading of the 2006 film Notes on a Scandal, Love argues that, while monogamous gay and lesbian couples have achieved unprecedented levels of social acceptability, those who are alone or whose intimacies are unconventional are more stigmatized than ever. Read more

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies.


Heather Love is the R. Jean Brownlee Term Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches interests include gender studies and queer theory, the literature and culture of modernity, affect studies, film and visual culture, psychoanalysis, race and ethnicity, sociology and literature, disability studies, and critical theory. She is the author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (Harvard, 2007), the editor of a special issue of GLQ on the scholarship and legacy of Gayle Rubin (“Rethinking Sex”), and the co-editor of a special issue of New Literary History (“Is There Life after Identity Politics?”). She has recent Read more

Harry Brod

Brod Final Poster

Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Northern Iowa

Asking for It: The Ethics & Erotics of Sexual Consent

Thursday, August 30, 2012
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

In a nonthreatening, non-hectoring discussion that ranges from the meanings of “yes” and “no,” to the indeterminacy of silence. to the way alcohol affects our ethical responsibilities, Brod challenges young people to envision a model of sexual interaction that is most erotic precisely when it is most thoughtful and empathetic.

This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life and Women’s and Gender Studies.

photo new

Harry Brod’s Web site

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