Minutes of Faculty Seminar meeting at the Faculty Club, Oct. 19, 2012

Guest: E. Patrick Johnson

Members present:

Ivone Barriga (Amherst)

Leda Cooks (U/Comm)

Rachel Daniel (U/English)

Michaela Diaz-Sanchez (Mt. Holyoke)

Talya Kingston (Hampshire)

Megan Lewis (U/Theater)

Sonny Nordmarken (U/Sociology)

Priscilla Page (U/Theater)

Alberto Sandoval (Mt Holyoke)

James Smethurst (U/AfAm)

Jenny Spencer (U/English)

We were pleased to see such a healthy showing at our first performance studies seminar of 2012-13. The group introduced themselves and their current areas of research. We listened to remarks from E. Patrick Johnson, who is currently engaged in a follow-up study to his book “Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History” (North Carolina Press, 2008) based on interviews with 70 participants. The current project deals with black lesbians in the South, and without giving away too much of his talk later that day, talked about some of the issues involved: performing identities different that one’s own, the historical vs. the performance studies notions of oral history, and the potentially unrealistic requests of the editors.

The group also brainstormed and discussed upcoming seminars. Alberto Sandoval agreed to organize a discussion on his work on grief and mourning following films such as “How to Survive a Plague” and others appearing in Amherst in November.

Megan Lewis suggested the possibility of a “field trip” to see Tim Crouch’s My Arm at Mass Mocha on Dec. 1. Chris Grobe, who could not attend, would like us all to participate the last weekend of November in the Poetry and Performance conference, featuring Peggy Phelan.

Please contact Jenny Spencer if you are able and interested in organizing a seminar event this year! Stay tuned for more…