Transparent Screening and Q&A (Transparent Symposium)

Screening will be held in the large Theater 1, located on East Avenue.

This event is one of the many free events offered as a part of The Transparent Symposium hosted by the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Join us for a *free* public screening of the first two episodes of ‘Transparent’ Season 3 at The Little Theatre followed by a discussion with

-Zackary Drucker (Producer, ‘Transparent’)
-Rabbi Susan Goldberg (Consultant, ‘Transparent’)
-Alexandra Grey (Actress, ‘Transparent’)
-and Jason Peck, Visiting Assistant Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Rochester.

Tickets are free and offered on a first-come, first-served basis on the night of the screening, which will be held in Theater 1 at The Little Theatre, 240 East Ave, Rochester, NY.

If you have questions, please be in touch with This is one of the many free events associated with The Transparent Symposium hosted by the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Cosponsored by:
Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Rochester
The Humanities Project (A program of the University of Rochester Humanities Center)
American Studies
The Plutzik and Briggs Families
University of Rochester Film and Media Studies Program
The Department of Art and Art History
The Department of English
University of Rochester Department of Religion and Classics
Susan B. Anthony Center

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Rubel discusses Transparent Symposium in UR QuadCast

“Amazon’s TV series Transparent has “single-handedly helped change the conversation about trans people in America,” says Nora Rubel, associate professor in the Department of Religion and Classics and the director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.

In the latest QuadCast podcast, Rubel talks with Nick Bruno ’17 about the critically acclaimed, award-winning show starring Jeffrey Tambor. She also discusses the upcoming multidisciplinary symposium about Transparent hosted by the institute, which marks 30 years since its founding at the University of Rochester.” – via UR NewsCenter

Listen to the QuadCast here.

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Transparent Symposium

Dubbed by The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum a “stealth masterpiece,” Transparent (Amazon, 2014-2016) captures psychological, social, and historical dynamics of being transgender at precisely the moment that transgender individuals and stories have taken a central place in American mass culture. Simultaneously, Transparent presents the most substantively and recognizably Jewish family in the history of American television. Through flashbacks over the three seasons, the show offers intersecting genealogies of gender and Jewishness, from 1930s Berlin to midcentury American suburban acculturation to contemporary religious experimentation.

This two-day multi-disciplinary symposium brings together scholars, writers, and critics to discuss all things Transparent and engage in dialogues at the nexus of Jewish Studies, Media Studies, Religious Studies and Sexuality & Gender Studies.

The symposium will kick off on with a reading by iconic poet, novelist, performer and art journalist Eileen Myles, and will include discussions with Zackary Drucker (Producer, Transparent), Alexandra Grey (Actor, Transparent), and Rabbi Susan Goldberg (Consultant, Transparent). *ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC*

View the full schedule here.

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Mia Alvar received 2016 Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize

mia-alvar-portraitMia Alvar was named the 2016 recipient of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction presented by the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Department of English. The award is being given for her debut work of fiction, In the Country, which received critical acclaim from the New York Times Sunday Book Review and was winner of the 2016 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award.

In the Country “stood out as the selection committee’s unanimous choice among almost 150 entries for its ability to craft a cohesive, intricately wrought world out of nine separate narratives,” explained Professor of Spanish Beth Jörgensen. She—along with fellow committee members Katherine Mannheimer, associate professor of English, and Jason Peck, visiting assistant professor of German—took only five minutes to agree on this year’s selection. Together with The Instinct for Bliss (1995) by Melissa Pritchard and The Dance Boots (2010) by Linda LeGarde Grover, In the Country is one of the few short story collections awarded with the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize which is awarded to a promising but less established American woman who has written the best book-length work of prose fiction.


Jörgensen appraised how Alvar’s nine stories “create morally and culturally complex characters who are engaged in negotiating the challenges of migration away from home for economic reasons and confronting the equally fraught experience of returning home,” adding how the book “provides insights into the rarely written lives of first-generation Filipinos living in the Middle East and the United States, and her beautiful, lucid prose, rich in irony, subtlety and compassion, draws her readers into their environment and their inner lives.”

Alvar read passages from the beginnings of three stories from the collection—“The Kontrabida,” “Legends of the White Lady,” and “Shadow Families”—before answering questions from the audience of the event.“It’s been an incredible honor for me to accept this prize from the institute, as someone who minored in women’s studies as an undergraduate and who, from the time that I first started writing fiction, was drawn to depicting the lives of mothers, daughters, and sisters,” said Alvar.

For more information about the Kafka Prize and previous winner go here.

For more information about the event go here.


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Activist and Scholar Angela Davis will be in Rochester this November

Angela Davis will be in Rochester on Wednesday November 9, 2016 for the MJS production’s event ” An evening of Empowerment” event.


RIA Novosti archive, image #36716 / Yuriy Ivanov / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Angela Davis is an African-American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent political activist in the 1960s and and an active leader of the Communist Party USA, with close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. She has though at San Francisco State University, Mills College, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Mostly recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D program – and of Feminist Studies. Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

“Angela Davis is the author of ten books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.  In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination.  She draws upon her own 14115439_10209315664824697_3499102247360423563_oexperiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”  She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment.  Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays, called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, was published in February 2016.” (via MJS Productions)

For more information about the event and tickets visit here.

Or their Facebook Event

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Jennifer L. Creech publishes “Mothers, Comrades, and Outcasts in East German Women’s Film”

Congratulations to professor Jennifer L. Creech, Associate Professor of German and Chair of the SBAI Curriculum Committee, for the recent publication of her first book Mothers, Comrades, and Outcasts in East German Women’s Film (University of Indiana Press, 2016). In addition to Chairing SBAI’s Curriculum Committee, Creech is a long time Associate of our department. Some of the courses the Creech has taught that are crosslisted with Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies include:

  • Gender and Sexuality in the Twentieth Century
  • The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Men of Marble, Women of Steel: Introduction to East European Cinema
  • Mothers, Comrades, and Whores: Women in Post-War German Cinema

We are so happy to celebrate this publication with her!

Mothers, Comrades, and Outcasts in East German Women’s Film merges feminist film theory and cultural history in an investigation of “women’s films” that span the last tcover-2-copywo decades of the former East Germany. Jennifer L. Creech explores the ways in which these films functioned as an alternative public sphere where official ideologies of socialist progress and utopian collectivism could be resisted. Emerging after the infamous cultural freeze of 1965, these women’s films reveal a shift from overt political critique to a covert politics located in the intimate, problem-rich experiences of everyday life under socialism. Through an analysis of films that focus on what were perceived as “women’s concerns”—marital problems, motherhood, emancipation, and residual patriarchy—Creech argues that the female protagonist served as a crystallization of socialist contradictions. By framing their politics in terms of women’s concerns, these films used women’s desire and agency to contest the more general problems of social alienation and collectivism, and to re-imagine the possibilities of self-fulfillment under socialism.” (via Indiana University Press)

jennifer_creechJennifer L. Creech is Associate Professor of German at the Modern Languages and Cultures Department, where she is Affiliate Faculty in Film and Media Studies, and Associate Faculty at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She is editor (with Thomas O. Haakenson) of Spectacle. Her research and teaching interests include late 20th-century German literature, film, and culture; cinema studies; and Marxist and feminist theories.

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Susan E. Gustafson: Goethe’s Families of the Heart

We have another exciting publication to announce! Congratulations to Susan E. Gustafson, Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor of German Studies, for the recent publication of her book Goethe’s Families of the Heart (Bloomsbury, 2016). The book highlights Goethe’s “acceptance and promotion of all relationships formed through spontaneous affinities and love (including heterosexual, same-sex, nonexclusive, group, parental, and adoptive).” (via Bloomsbury).

Gustafson acted as Director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute from 2002-2007, is a long-time Associate of SBAI, and presented in-progress portions of this book at one of our Faculty Research Seminars in 2013. If you are interested in becoming a faculty affiliate or associate with SBAI, email

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-2-47-53-pm“Throughout his literary work Goethe portrays characters who defy and reject 18th and 19th century ideals of aristocratic and civil families, notions of heritage, assumptions about biological connections, expectations about heterosexuality, and legal mandates concerning marriage. The questions Goethe’s plays and novels pose are often modern and challenging: Do social conventions, family expectations, and legal mandates matter? Can two men or two women pair together and be parents? How many partners or parents should there be? Two? One? A group? Can parents love children not biologically related to them? Do biological parents always love their children? What is the nature of adoptive parents, children, and families? Ultimately, what is the fundamental essence of love and family?

Gustafson demonstrates that Goethe’s conception of the elective affinities is certainly not limited to heterosexual spouses or occasionally to men desiring men. A close analysis of Goethe’s explication of affinities throughout his literary production reveals his rejection of loveless relationships (for example, arranged marriages) and his acceptance and promotion of all relationships formed through spontaneous affinities and love (including heterosexual, same-sex, nonexclusive, group, parental, and adoptive).” (via Bloomsbury)

University of Rochester Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor of German Studies and Goergen Award winner Susan Gustafson on Eastman Quad April 07, 2011. //photo: J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

University of Rochester Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor of German Studies and Goergen Award winner Susan Gustafson on Eastman Quad April 07, 2011. //photo: J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester

Susan Gustafson is a professor of German in the Modern Languages and Cultures Department at the University of Rochester. She has a doctorate in German from Stanford University, was a Charles Taft Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cincinnati, and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. Her first book is an analysis of the significance of the exclusion of mothers in Lessing’s dramas entitled: “Absent Mothers and Orphaned Fathers: Narcissism and Abjection in Lessing’s Aesthetic and Dramatic Production” (Wayne State, 1995). Her second book, “Men Desiring Men: The Poetry of Same-Sex Identity and Desire in German Classicism,” (Wayne State, 2002) focuses on how men developed a language to express their love for one other in letters and literary works in German Classicism. This book was awarded the 2004 GSA/DAAD Award for the Outstanding book on German Literature. She also has published numerous articles on German literature from the 18th to 20th centuries. Her current book project, “Families of the Heart: Bisexual, Same-Sex, and Adoptive Affinities in Goethe’s Literary Works” outlines how Goethe consistently challenges 18th and 19th century notions of love, heterosexuality, and family.

If you’re interested in finding additional information about the book, read more here!

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Douglas Crimp: Before Pictures

We would like to congratulate professor Douglas Crimp from the Art and Art History Department for the recent publication of his memoir Before Pictures (Dancing Foxes Press, 2016).

douglas-crimp-cover-hr-copy“Before Pictures tells the story of Crimp’s life as a young gay man and art critic in New York City during the late 1960s through the turbulent 1970s. Crimp participated in all of what made the city so stimulating in that vibrant decade. The details of his professional and personal life are interwoven with the particularly rich history of New York City at that time, producing a vivid portrait of both the critic and his adopted city. Part autobiography and part cultural history, Before Pictures is a courageous account of an exceptional period in both Crimp’s life and the life of New York City. At the same time, it offers a deeply personal and engaging point of entry into important issues in contemporary art.” (via Dancing Foxes Press)

“Through the book I weave together stories of the two cultures that were most important in my life at the time —gay liberation and the art that came to be called post modernist—in the hopes that I can unsettle the ways theses two worlds are usually understood,” said Crimp.

Douglas Crimp is a key figure in the development of postmodern theory. He is well known for his the influential exhibition Pictures that he curatecrimp-1024x683d in 1977 at the Artists Space, including work by Sherrie Levine, Philip Smith, Jack Goldstein, Robert Longo, and Troy Brauntuch. Crimp worked as a curatorial assistant at the Guggenheim Museum and as an art critic, writing for ArtNews and Art International. In 1977, he became the managing editor, and later co-editor, of the influential journal October, being a central figure until he left in 1990. In 1992 he began teaching in the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the Art and Art History Department where he was appointed the Fanny Knapp Allen Professor of Art History in 2003.

Crimp is the author of On the Museum’s Ruins (MIT Press, 1993), Melancholia and Moralism: Essays on AIDS and Queer Politics (MIT Press, 2002), and “Our Kind of Movie”: The Films of Andy Warhol. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012.


Thursday, September 29, 6:00 – 8:00 pm: 

A conversation between Zoe Leonard and Douglas Crimp

Zoe Leonard and Douglas Crimp discuss the role of photography in his new memoir ‘Before Pictures’, on the occasion of the exhibition, Zoe Leonard. In The Wake at Hauser & Wirth, 13 September – 22 October 2016.  It is possible to book on the Hauser & Writh site: & Wirth, 32 East 69th Street, New York, NY 10021 link .


Thursday, October 6, 5:00 pm

Reading and conversation with Anthony Petro, Erin Murphy, Carrie Preston, and Keith Vincent, Gregory Williams

Boston University, link

Thursday, October 18, 7:00pm

Reading, 192 Books, NYC, link.

 Thursday, October 20, 7:30 pm

Reading and conversation with Jacquelyn McCroskey

Hammer Museum, UCLA, link.

Sunday, October 23, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Reading and conversation with Claudia La Rocco

The Lab, San Francisco, link.

Tuesday, October 25, 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

Reading and conversation with Tina Takemoto

California College of the Arts, San Francisco, link.

Wednesday, October 26, 5:00 pm. 

Reading an conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson

UC Berkeley, link.

Thursday, October 27, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. 

Reading and conversation with Richard Meyer

Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, link.


Tuesday, November 1, 5:00 pm

Lecture on Merce Cunningham

Northwestern University. Details TBD.

Wednesday, November 2, 6:00 – 7:15 pm

Lecture on Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

Department of Visual Arts, University of Chicago, link.

Thursday, November 3, 6:00 pm

Reading and conversation with Gregg Bordowitz

Art Institute of Chicago, details TBD.

Sunday, November 6


Marfa Book Company, Marfa, TX, Details TBD

Friday, November 11, 6:30 pm

Lecture on Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

School of Art, Blaffer Art Museum, and Creative Writing Program, University of Houston, link.

Saturday, November 12, 6:30 pm

Reading and conversation with Dean Daderko

Contemporary Art Museum Houston, details TBD.

Monday, November 14

Reading and conversation with Ann Cvetkovich

University of Texas, Austin, details TBD, link.

Friday, November 18, 7:00 pm

Screening of Agnes Martin’s Gabriel (1976, 16mm transferred to digital video, color, sound, 78 min) and conversation with Karen Redrobe.

ICA Philadelphia (at International House), link.

Monday, November 21, 7pm

Reading from “Before Pictures” followed by a discussion with Yvonne Rainer, Silas Riener, and Adrian Danchig-Waring

The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, New York, NY link.


Thursday, December 8, 7:00pm


Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, link.


Sunday, January 8

Reading and conversation with Lynne Cooke

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Details TBD.

*Signed copies will be available at all events. The book can also be ordered at Special price for orders received before October 1: $30

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Celebrating the Bisexual Awareness Week

The Bisexual Awareness Week (#BiWeek) will run from September 16 – 26, with September 23 marked as the “International Celebrate Bisexuality Day.” Co-founded by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and BiNet USA, Bisexual Awareness Week seeks to accelerate acceptance of the bi+ community. #BiWeek draws attention to the public policy concerns of bisexual people, while also celebrating the resiliency of, the bisexual community. Throughout #BiWeek, allies and bi people learn about the history, culture, community and current policy priorities of bi communities (via BiNet USA).


Pride Network at the University of Rochester is organizing the event Bisexuality Awareness with Robyn Ochs this Friday, September 16 to kick off the Bisexual Awareness Week.

Included in this event there will be a talk and a workshop:
Understanding Bisexuality: Challenging Stigma and Reducing Disparities Among College Students
TIME: 3:00PM-5:00PM

Challenging Biphobia and Bi Erasure
TIME: 5:30PM-7:30PM

For more information about the event go here and for information about the #BiWeek and how to get involved go here.


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Spring 2016 Newsletter

Check out our FYI Spring 2016 newsletter to learn about SBAI’s name change, new lecturer, new courses, and some big events on the horizon!

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 10.33.24 AM

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