Dr. Katz on the culture wars
Today Reed College presents a very interesting talk, Twelve Seconds out of 120 Years: Anatomy of a Culture War
"In this talk, structured for a general audience, Dr. Jonathan D. Katz will address the stakes of the U.S.'s repeated cultural skirmishes over the depiction of same sex desire. Katz explores the very different valence of homoerotic desire in early 20th century America, and, deploying numerous images from the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, traces the key shifts in that understanding up to the present day. He will conclude with a showing of the exhibition's censored film by David Wojnarowicz, A Fire in my Belly, and address why the conflict took the form that it did, turning on the question of anti-Catholic bias instead of homophobia. Paradoxically, Katz will argue that the refusal to frame the objections to the film in terms of sexuality is a kind of victory, but also a telling indicator of the newest front in the ongoing U.S. culture wars.
On March 17, the Tacoma Museum of Art opened Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, the first queer exhibition at a major museum in U.S. history, sponsored by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. Katz wrote the eponymous book accompanying the exhibition. Katz is a queer studies scholar of post war art and culture, is director of the doctoral program in visual studies at the University at Buffalo, and president of the newly opened Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, the world's first queer art museum. He cofounded the activist group Queer Nation, San Francisco, and founded the Queer Caucus of the College Art Association, and the Harvey Milk Institute in San Francisco.
Dr. Katz's lecture was organized by Assistant Professor of Art History and Humanities Michele Matteini."
Lecture: Dr. Jonathan D. Katz
Tuesday, March 20, 5 p.m.
Reed College Chapel