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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 17, 2004

Expert To Speak On Feminism And Pop Cultural Queerness Dec. 1

Jane Gerhard, who teaches in Harvard University's Program in History and Literature and in the Women's Studies Program at Wheaton College, will present a lecture on the University of Iowa campus Dec. 1 titled "Towards a History of Heterosexuality: Second Wave Feminism, Post Feminism and Pop Cultural Queerness."

The lecture, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in 40 Schaeffer Hall, is part of the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies Interdisciplinary Research Semester on "Sex, Economics, Politics: Sexuality as a Social Phenomenon." It is free and open to the public.

Cosponsors of the lecture include the UI departments of History, American Studies, Women's Studies and Sexuality Studies.

Gerhard's lecture will explore the history of recent feminism, particularly the role of queer theory and "queerness" in mass culture in the shift from feminism to post-feminism.

"The HBO series 'Sex and the City' is the case study for looking at how post-feminism manages and contains the legacies of 1970s feminism," says Gerhard. "The series also allows us to think about the place of queer insight in contemporary representations of women. Feminism, post-feminism and queer cultures have shaped the recent history of heterosexuality in ways we have not yet addressed. Historians need to look at the ways such images/representations, problematic as they may be, enable us to dislodge heterosexuality from its deep embeddedness in biology."

Gerhard is the author of the book "Desiring Revolution: Second Wave Feminism and the Rewriting of American Sexual Thought, 1920 to 1982", which was published by Columbia University Press in 2001.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you require an accommodation to participate in this program, contact the UI Department of History at 319-335-2299.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,; Program: UI Department of History, 319-335-2299