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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Traub lecture to kick off 2011-12 Ray Smith Symposium

Michigan professor explores gender, sexuality of early modern England

Sept. 2, 2011, by Sara Miller

Valerie Traub
Valerie Traub
Valerie Traub, the Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of English and Women’s Studies and chair of women’s studies at the University of Michigan, will lead off the 2011-12 Ray Smith Symposium with her lecture “Shakespeare’s Sex,” Sept. 8-9 on the Syracuse University campus.

The history of queer sexuality is the subject of the 2011-12 Ray Smith Symposium presented by SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The symposium, “Sex and Power from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment,” runs from September to April and features several keynote lectures and the Ray Smith-HC Mini-Seminar Series by eight visiting scholars. All events are free and open to the public; however, the seminars require registration.

Each visiting scholar as part of the Ray Smith Symposium will serve a two-day residency, including a Thursday keynote address at 7 p.m. in the Kilian Room (500) of the Hall of Languages, followed by a Friday mini seminar from 9:30-11:30 a.m. (with breakfast served at 9 a.m.) in The SU Humanities Center Seminar Room, Room 304 of the Tolley Humanities Building.

Traub is an expert in gender and sexuality of early modern England. She is the author of “The Renaissance of Lesbianism in Early Modern England” (Cambridge University Press, 2002), which won that year’s best book award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. She is also the author of “Desire and Anxiety: Circulations of Sexuality in Shakespearean Drama” (Routledge, 1992), and co-edited “Feminist Readings of Early Modern Culture: Emerging Subjects” (Cambridge, 1996) and “Gay Shame” (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Current book projects include “Mapping Embodiment in the Early Modern West: A Prehistory of Normality,” which analyzes the emergence of new discourses of gender, sexuality, race and class in 16th- and 17th-century anatomical and cartographic illustrations; and “Making Sexual Knowledge: Essays in the History of Sexuality.”

“Sex and Power” is enabled by a bequest from the estate of Ray W. Smith ’21, an Auburn, N.Y., native who, after graduating from SU, was a highly respected teacher and administrator.

The symposium is organized and presented by the Renaissance and Medieval Studies Working Group, composed of interdisciplinary scholars from across campus. Additional support for this year’s programming comes from the Office of the Chancellor; the departments of art and music histories; English; history; languages, literatures and linguistics; women’s and gender studies; the LGBT studies program; and the SU Humanities Center, which sponsors the mini seminars.

For more information about the keynote events, contact Cassidy Perrault in The College's Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Programs at 315-443-1414. For more information about the HC Mini-Seminars, contact Karen Ortega in The SU Humanities Center at 315-443-7192,