Ramzi Fawaz, “Stepford Wives and Female Men: The Radical Differences of Female Replicants”

Shanté Paradigm Smalls, “Superheroes, Queerness, and Anti-Blackness: Storm, Django, and Michael Brown”

Friday, April 17, 2015, 3pm, Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes Hall
PLENARY for the DC Queer Studies Symposium, “Queer Speculations”

Ramzi Fawaz is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His forthcoming book, The New Mutants: Superheroes and the Radical Imagination of American Comics (NYU Press: Fall 2015), received the 2013 Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Fellowship award for best first book manuscript in LGBT Studies. His research has been published in American Literature,Callaloo, and Anthropological Quarterly, and his essay on the aesthetics of AIDS cultural production appears in GLQ‘s special issue On the Visceral (January 2015). His current project treats the aesthetic and cultural politics of women’s and gay liberation since the 1970s. Fawaz is also co-organizer, with Damon Young, of the Sexual Politics/Sexual Poetics Collective, a national working group of early-career queer studies scholars in the humanities.

Shanté Paradigm Smalls is Assistant Professor of English at St. John’s University. Her current research uses critical race theory, hip hop studies, and queer theory to consider how New York City hip hop music, visual art, and film offers “queer articulations” or race, gender, and sexuality. Smalls is co-editor of “All Hail the Queenz: A Queer Feminist Recalibration of Hip Hop Scholarship,” a special issue of Women & Performance with Jessica Pabon and has publications published or forthcoming with Oxford University Press,Lateral, Criticism, and American Behavior Scientist.

Juana María Rodríguez, “Feeling Queerly, Knowing Otherwise”

Friday, April 17, 2015, 5pm, Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes Hall
KEYNOTE for the DC Queer Studies Symposium, “Queer Speculations”

Juana María Rodríguez is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is also affiliated faculty with the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies; the Berkeley Center for New Media; the Center for Race and Gender; and the Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures. She is one of the founding members of the Haas Institute’s Center for a Fair and Inclusive Society’s LGBTQ Citizen Cluster, and currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council on LGBT Students, Faculty & Staff for the University of California. Rodríguez is the author of two books, Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces (NYU 2003) and Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures and Other Latina Longings (NYU 2014) and has published numerous articles related to her research interests in sexuality studies, queer activism in a transnational American context, critical race theory, technology and media arts, and Latin@ and Caribbean studies. She is currently working on a third book project that considers the quandaries of representing racially gendered violence, pleasure, and trauma in visual culture.


Lavender Graduation

Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 3-5pm, Memorial Chapel
Sponsored by the LGBT Equity Center

Lavender Graduation recognizes an important milestone in the lives of our LGBTQ and Allied graduates. Each LGBTQA graduate will receive a rainbow tassel and a certificate of distinction. This event also provides an opportunity for our community to come together and honor those among us who have worked to make College Park a better place for LGBTQ people.

Graduates at all levels (certificates, bachelors, masters, doctoral) are especially encouraged to attend and bring family, friends, and other significant individuals in their lives. This may include members of faculty or staff. Of course, all faculty and staff as well as alumni are invited. Lavender Graduation is only held in May. Thus, December graduates are invited to join us at either the closest Lavender Graduation prior to or following their December graduation.

Dressy casual attire is recommended. Academic regalia is optional.

Please RSVP by going to

Campus-wide Commencement Ceremony

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 10am, Xfinity Center
The procession of students begins promptly at 9:20 a.m. The campus-wide commencement ceremony represents the culmination of a student’s academic career at the University of Maryland. Unlike the individual college or school ceremonies, it is an opportunity for the president to congratulate the graduates as a group. Although graduates do not walk across the stage in the campus-wide ceremony, it is in this ceremony that the degrees are officially conferred. At the end of the ceremony, the graduates will turn their tassels from the right to the left, symbolizing the transition from student to alumnus. The university encourages graduates, their family and friends to attend this approximately 90-minute event marking the beginning of the two-day commencement celebration.

Departments of Women’s Studies and American Studies Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 22, 2015, 9:30am, Memorial Chapel
This event is not only a celebration of the graduating students’ accomplishments at the University of Maryland, but also an occasion to acknowledge our joint enthusiasm for their future endeavors. The university recognizes that commencement is a milestone in our graduates’ lives and, as such, we strive to ensure that everyone enjoys their experience.

Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tale of Slavery and Power

On display until Friday, May 29, 2015, 1214 Cole Student Activities Building, David C. Driskell Center
Kara Walker is one of the most successful and widely known contemporary African American artists today, remarkable for her radical engagement with issues of race, gender, and sexuality, and for the media with which she pursues her studies. Her work pries apart and examines the injustices that African Americans have faced throughout the long and tumultuous history of the United States. She explores power relationships in American society through the vehicle of representations of slavery, race, sexuality, violence, and gender set in the antebellum South. The works, which are inventive and painful, but also satirical and humorous, were selected for the show to display the range of approaches Walker has taken in exploring the legacy of slavery for contemporary American identity. The exhibition features about 60 works; along with Walker’s signature black paper cutout silhouettes, an array of prints, a wall installation, and a video will also be showcased.


Institute for Technology: Transformative Digital Humanities

Friday-Saturday, Wednesday, October 2-3, 2015
This interdisciplinary gathering will explore the uses of digital technologies for transformative social justice through research, pedagogy, and creative practice both within and beyond academia. The two-day event will begin with a day of presentations and workshops featuring speakers whose work combines technological practice with scholarship, activism, and/or art that focuses on feminism, queer studies, and/or critical ethnic studies. The second day will use a collaborative, impromptu ‘unconference’ format in which participants learn and create together in sessions proposed on the spot.

Confirmed speakers include: KEYNOTE, Lisa Nakamura; PLENARY: Moya Bailey, Ann Cong-Huyen, and Amanda Phillips.