Director’s Letter Fall 2019
Dear Carolina Community Members:
Since its inception in 2004, the Program in Sexuality Studies at UNC-CH has provided a vibrant intellectual space for students, faculty and staff in Chapel Hill. But what truly makes for a dynamic intellectual space? Why Sexuality Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill? There are some salient facts about the region that might surprise residents and visitors alike. Did you know that the majority of LGBTQ people in the United States choose to live in the south? Did you know that the intellectual roots of what sustains work in the field of sexuality studies were founded in the Triangle?
Our mission in the Program is to grow that connection between the communities we serve and the work that we do. With affiliated faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences, the Medical School, the School of Journalism, the School of Public health and the UNC Law School, our Program extends itself to every corner of the university, making it a truly interdisciplinary space. We foster conversations about how questions of sexual identity and expression emerge in all aspects of society and how those questions have been asked and answered across all cultures and human history. One of our primary goals is to serve our undergraduate students through our minor. Our other goal is to develop events geared toward the university and local community.
We hold a number of events each semester including visiting scholar lectures and performances, casual conversations over lunch (our “Lunch ‘N Learn series), and conferences featuring student and faculty presenters. This year we hosted a Valentine’s Day reception for Professor E. Patrick Johnson (Carolina alum) after his reading of several narratives collected in his book, Black. Queer. Southern. Women. – An Oral History. In addition, we sponsored a Lunch ‘N Learn for performance artist Virginia Grise who met with students, faculty, staff and community members to talk about her performance, Your Healing is Killing Me (Playmakers Rep., April 2019).
The next academic year will be an exciting one, as we roll out our new website in September of 2019 and reimagine the office space for the Program as a library and gathering space for our minors and members of the community seeking an intellectual community.
I look forward to completing new projects and to welcoming old and new friends in the coming academic year. Please look for us and join us, our door is always open.
Professor Sharon P. Holland
Director, Program in Sexuality Studies
Townsend Ludington Distinguished Professor of American Studies