Eight Concordia researchers presented papers at the Sex on the Edge conference sponsored by the University's Sexuality Research Project.
Anna Alexander (Simone de Beauvoir Institute) traced the intersection of female sexuality and narcotic desire. Drugs mirror the changing patterns of what society wants from women, Alexander said, from the uppers and downers of the 1950s and '60s to "the candy-popping of Prozac and the languor of heroin" in the '90s. An investigation of the structures of addiction can lead to an altered model of autonomy and responsibility in treating the question of drugs, she said.
Thomas Waugh (Sexuality/Cinema) outlined Concordia's two-semester interdisciplinary course on AIDS/HIV, which is now in its fifth year. Participants in the AIDS workshop discussed the challenge of teaching about AIDS as it evolves from a pandemic crisis to a chronic disease that many people are managing to live with.
Montreal art critic and Humanities PhD candidate Jim Drobnick explored the role played by the sense of smell in art, providing eclectic examples of olfactory art that expose the powerful sensory experiences of perfume and perspiration. On the same panel, Studio Arts lecturer Neil MacInnis presented a paper outlining the role played by 18th-century French rococo art in the development of contemporary queer sexuality.
Katharine Setzer (Communication Studies) discussed online erotic interplay in a panel on pornography on the Internet. Bina Toledo Freiwald (English) explored Kate Bornstein's use of autobiography to deconstruct gender in a panel on narrating sexualities.
In a panel on television, Marcie Frank (English) provided a rich exploration of television in the works of Gore Vidal. Kyle William Mechar, a PhD student in the joint PhD program in Communication Studies, discussed the costs of coming out in the public sphere in the panel on publicity and citizenship.
* "If oral sex isn't sex, then it's
eating." Elspeth Probyn on the sex scandal in the White House as she introduced her lecture Beyond Food/Sex
* "If oral sex isn't sex, then it's talking."Maria Nengeh Mensah (Sexology, UQAM) at the closing plenary
* "Lesbianism is presented as appealing because of shared housework, borrowed clothes, and female camaraderie." Kathryn Campbell (Women's Studies, York University) on the desexualization of lesbians by the mainstream press in the '90s
* "The ordinary has a lot of limits for queer politics." José Muñoz
(Performance Studies, NYU)
* "Nothing much seems to have the power to animate gay people any more. They're home making dinner for their boyfriends, and that's about as united as we're going to get." Michael Warner on the division over representation of queer sexuality in his lecture Public Sex/Intimate Worlds - DH