The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality and Community Lecture Series (OTL Lecture Series) is an academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the existing research and current activism on topics that may include public health, religion, spirituality, business, military, science, K-12 education, families, immigration, literature, politics, law, community organizing, history, violence, race & ethnicity, age, counseling, therapy, sports, romance, policy and many other areas.
Out to Lunch is a interdisciplinary lecture series that focuses on queer studies. All lectures are scheduled for Thursdays at 12:30pm at the Rainbow Center, Student Union 403, unless otherwise posted. Undergraduate students have an option to take the lecture series as a credit-bearing class UNIV 2500, “Gender, Sexuality and Community: Queer Studies in an Interdisciplinary Approach.” One does not have to be enrolled in the class in order to attend any or all of the lectures.
If you are curious about the rosters we have had in the past, please see our list of previous Out to Lunch Lectures.
Spring 2020 roster
As of March 18, all in-person presentations have been cancelled however enrolled students will have online instruction for the remainder of the semester.
January 23: Today’s lecture is an educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
January 30: Today’s lecture is an educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
February 6: Today’s lecture is an educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
February 13: Justin Li (he/him/his): “Love to All Project: Queer Student-based Grassroots Philanthropy”
Synopsis: Founded in the summer of 2018, Love to All Project, Inc. is a queer-student-run clothing brand and publication dedicated in empowering LGBTQ+ youth. The project’s first collection has donated its proceeds to The Trevor Project, America’s leading non-profit organization focusing on suicide prevention efforts among queer youth. The second collection will benefit other LGBTQ+ charities. This presentation will allow attendees to learn more about this queer-student-based philanthropic endeavor from its Founder and Executive Director, Justin Li.
Biographies: Justin Li is an artist and activist from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He is currently a senior at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. Justin’s art explores themes of heritage, identity, and coming-of-age. Through his paintings, he discusses issues surrounding the queer youth community like the HIV/AIDS epidemic and LGBTQ+ inclusivity. In 2018, he founded Love to All Project because he wanted to combine fashion and advocacy to support the LGBTQ+ youth community. His organization has raised $10,000 for LGBTQ+ charities and has collaborated with queer leaders like HRC President Alphonso David. You can find Justin at: jvstinli.com.
Maureena Murphy is a writer, editor and activist from Newark, NJ, as well as a current senior at Phillips Exeter Academy. Her work specializes in the process of self-love and self-actualization within intersectional queer youth. Joining the Project in 2018, she believes that The Love to All Project is an opportunity to aid in the spread of support for the LGBTQ+ community, and to encourage others to champion their identities and be proud of who they are.
February 20: Clarissa Ceglio (she/her/hers); “Common Cause: Public History, Learning, and Service with and for LGBTQ+ Communities”
Synopsis: Recent years have seen important developments among mainstream museums in terms of working to become more inclusive of LGBTQ+ histories, cultures, and arts. Attention is also being paid to making museums more welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. Queer professionals and activists, both within and outside the museum field, have led the way—but not without resistance. In this lecture, I will highlight some of these developments and discuss a few local public history projects, currently underway, that are dedicated to restoring LGBTQ+ persons and experiences to our understanding of the state’s and UConn’s past. The focus will be on how public history, as a practice of service and learning, can open opportunities to deepen the common cause for social justice.
Biography: Clarissa Ceglio, PhD, is associate director of research for Greenhouse Studios/Scholarly Communications Design at UConn and assistant professor of Digital Humanities in the School of Fine Art’s Digital Media & Design Department. In addition to researching how U.S. museums have participated in the production of national and other identities across the 20th century, she collaborates with communities, museums, libraries, and archives on public history projects. This work includes engaging students in service-learning collaborations with Connecticut Landmark’s Palmer-Warner House, which aspires to be the Connecticut’s first house museum dedicated to telling the state’s LGBTQ+ histories, and UConn’s Rainbow Center.
February 27: Mick Powell (she/her/hers); “Flesh Into Blossom”: The Queer Poetics of Radical Pleasure
Synopsis: Over 40 years out from Audre Lorde’s formative essay “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” queer feminist poets of color continue to consider how we create new work about the erotic, the intimate, and the sensual; work that illuminates the beauties and complexities of loving others and ourselves in the bodies we inhabit. In this lecture, we’ll explore how contemporary queer and trans poets of color decenter white, patriarchal, heteronormative, and cisnormative narratives around the body and intimacy through gurlesque, afrofuturistic, and liberatory aesthetics. Mick will read from her chapbook chronicle the body (2019) and highlight other poets narrating from new spaces of sensuality and pleasure.
Biography: Mick Powell (she/her/hers) is a queer black fat femme feminist poet based in Connecticut. She is an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Connecticut. Mick earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Southern Connecticut State University in 2018 and her Bachelor’s in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies from UConn in 2015. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Frontier Poetry, Tinderbox Poetry, Columbia Journal, Apogee Journal, Winter Tangerine, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, chronicle the body, won Yemassee Journal‘s 2nd Annual Chapbook Contest and was published in March 2019. You can find her at www.mickpowellpoet.com.
March 5: Steven Feldman (he/him/his); “Das ist queer! – Interpretive Ambiguity of Gender & Sexual Orientation in Schubert’s Erlkönig”
Synopsis: In the 1990s, several prominent music historians took an interest in studying music with consideration to gender & sexuality. One famous example is that of musicologist Christopher Gibbs’ argument that composer Franz Schubert’s 1816 song Erlkönig is a reference to homosexuality. Though there is a great deal of evidence that supports this claim, my research offers a new interpretation of the piece – one that considers 19th-century gender roles instead of sexuality. This lecture will demonstrate that the problematic conflation of gender and sexuality is not a new phenomenon and in fact permeates the arts across time. Together, we will listen to the song, discuss both interpretations, and the audience will be able to decide for themselves which interpretation they believe to be true.
Biography: Steven Feldman holds a B.A. in Music and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in Music History & Theory from Stony Brook University, and is currently pursuing his second M.A. in Higher Education & Student Affairs at the University of Connecticut. Steven’s musical research interests primarily include examining gender and sexuality in German art songs and English ayres. Since beginning his studies in higher education at UConn, Steven has explored research projects including the use of language in gender-inclusive housing practices and college aspirations among LGBTQIA+ youth. While at UConn, he has the privilege of serving as the Graduate Assistant for the UConn Rainbow Center, where he coordinates the FAMILEE Mentoring Program, plans programs for the Rainbow Grads & Young Professionals Group, and works with some of the best students and professional staff on campus.
March 12: Today’s lecture is an educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
March 19: There is no lecture today due to Spring Break.
March 26: Today’s lecture is an online educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
April 2: Today’s lecture is an online educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
April 9: Today’s lecture is an online educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
April 16: Today’s lecture is an online educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
April 23: Today’s lecture is an online educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.
April 30: Today’s lecture is an online educative module open only for those enrolled in the course associated with the lecture series.