John Hawley is Professor and Chair of the English Department at Santa Clara University, where his research interests include Victorian and postcolonial literature, gender studies, and the intersection between religion and literature. He is the editor of the three-volume encyclopedia, LGBTQ America Today and the forthcoming SUNY Press publication for this conference, Expanding the Circle: Creating an Inclusive Environment in Higher Education for LGBTQ Students & Studies. Among his other related publications are Postcolonial, Queer and essays such as "Lavender Ain't Pink: Emerging Queer Self-Expression in a Non-White World," and "The Emerging Fictionalization of AIDS in Africa." He has served on the executive committee of the Pacific Ancient and several executive committees of the Modern Language Association. He has also served as President of the U.S. Association for the Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies.
Historical Transformations in Queer Autobiography
This session will focus on authenticity, 'coming out', and finding a voice as absolutely central to the experience of LGBTQQ students (and their faculty, administrators, and staff). How can we utilize others' autobiographies, and potentially our own, to bring the kind of understanding that instills a sense of empathy in our students? Aiming to include a more salient actualization of justice in teaching through the creation and consumption of autobiographies in the classroom, this workshop directly links to the interdisciplinary frameworks of LGBTQ studies, highlighting the ways our multiple selves are understood or reflected via race/ class/ gender/ sexuality/ nation/ etc. What had been the master narrative of sexualities and gender roles before queer autobiographies, and how has the story changed in the last 60 years? Using film clips, story boarding, and brief examples of personal transformations in literature, we will pay attention to intergenerational dynamics, literary trends, and socio-political movements to foreground the presentation of self that is potentially a liberating vehicle for our students. We will draw on the intersectionality of identity and various theoretical approaches (e.g., postcolonial, queer, feminist, African American, and border and Latino/a studies) to explore how queer notions of self have shifted, and where our students are taking them.