What does Joan Crawford have to do with being gay?
Quite a bit, says David Halperin, a professor of the history and theory of sexuality at the University of Michigan and the author of How to Be Gay. In the book, Halperin describes how gay men develop “a conscious identity” and “common culture,” and explores why Crawford, Broadway, Mini Coopers and Judy Garland came to matter so much to many gay men.
Halperin will present Long Live the Queen! The Persistence of Gay Culture at Elmhurst College on October 30.
Professor Halperin is the W.H. Auden Distinguished University Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality at the University of Michigan. How To Be Gay was drawn from a controversial course with the same title that Halperin taught at Michigan. The class drew media attention in 2000, and led a group of right-wing Michigan lawmakers to propose a bill that would allow the Legislature to veto course offerings at the state’s public universities. The bill failed.
The author or editor of 10 books, Halperin also teaches English language and literature, women’s studies, comparative literature, and classical studies. He also is a co-founder of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies.
Halperin’s talk at Elmhurst will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30, in the Founders Lounge of the Frick Center. Admission is $10 for the general public and free for Elmhurst College students, faculty, staff and alumni. Tickets are available online or at the door. For more information, call (630) 617-3390.