Apr. 05, 2011

Diversity Lecture features pioneer in gay and lesbian studies


A professor who is a pioneer in the developing field of gay and lesbian studies will deliver this year's annual President's Diversity Lecture on Thursday, April 7, at 4 p.m. in Newton 202.

John D'Emilio, a professor of gender and women's studies and history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will speak about "Rethinking Gay History. Or Richard Nixon: Gay Liberationist?"

D'Emilio has authored more than a half dozen books, including "Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States," and "Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in American." U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted "Intimate Matters" in the 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas case that declared state sodomy statutes unconstitutional.

D'Emilio has won fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Humanities and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He received the Brudner Prize from Yale for lifetime contributions to gay and lesbian studies. A former co-chair of the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, he also was the founding director of its Policy Institute.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and is followed by a reception.