Faculty from nine universities and colleges will hold the largest ever conference on black and Latina/o sexuality on April 11-12 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "Race, Sex, Power: New Movements in Black and Latina/o Sexualities," the culmination of more than two years of planning, will bring together academics, activists, and artists to address topics ranging from intimacy and desire to HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy to humor and Hip Hop.
Organizer Cathy Cohen, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, calls the conference "a bold effort to rethink what sexuality means for the two largest racial minorities in the US." Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the former United States Surgeon General appointed by President Clinton, will open the conference on Friday morning, April 11.
One of the hallmarks of this conference, Cohen stresses, is its emphasis on collaboration and inclusiveness. The complex coordination of nine institutions permitted organizers to draw on a pool of expertise that no one college or university could hope to contain. The unusual blend of research, activism, and art encourages all participants to think outside their personal assumptions and the conventions of their fields.
Finally, the organizers hope to draw an audience of specialists and non-specialists alike. Asencio reminds us that knowledge about sexuality is hardly confined to those who make a profession of its study. Everyone, Asencio argues, is engaged in a critique of current sexual conventions. The conference is simply the space where such knowledge can be shared, rethought, and transformed.
LOCATION: UIC FORUM, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., Chicago, IL
SPONSORING UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES:
Chicago State University
Columbia College Chicago
The Graduate Center, CUNY
University of Chicago
University of Connecticut at Storrs
University of Illinois, Chicago