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Politics of Language Presentation: LGBTQIA++ feat. Dr. Jonathan Alexander


Join the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication for the next presentation of our Politics of Language Speaker Series, featuring Dr. Jonathan Alexander! Dr. Alexander’s talk will take place on Thursday, January 20th from 3-4 pm (Pacific Time). Registration for the event is required; access the Zoom registration by clicking here.

In this presentation, Jonathan Alexander considers his work on four separate editions of the textbook FINDING OUT: AN INTRODUCTION TO LGBTQ STUDIES, and how each edition produced over the last two decades has had to adapt to and reflect changing conventions — and politics — of naming within queer and trans communities. Alexander traces such evolutions as part of a larger historical arc, dating from the end of the 19th century and the rise of sexology to contemporary queer politics.  Tracing this arc situates the “right to name” as central to much queer and trans activism as queer and trans folk claim naming of experiences, desires, and identities as crucial to combating pathologization, criminalization, and deligitimation.  At the same time, debates within communities about the politics of naming reflect the complexities of queer and trans identification and the tenuousness of “queer community” itself.

Dr. Jonathan Alexander is the Chancellor’s Professor of English and Informatics and Associate Dean in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Irvine. Committed to interdisciplinary troublemaking, Jonathan Alexander works generally under the rubric of “writing studies” to explore the creation and uptake of “texts” as they perform different kinds of ideological work in specific contexts. His work has primarily focused on written and digital production in the extra-curriculum, such as self- and collectively-sponsored multimodal forms of composition, including “fan texts.” More recently, he has turned his attention to many varied forms of life narrative as a rich mode of rhetorical and political engagement.

For more information, please contact the CEWC’s Associate Director, Dr. Evin Groundwater at e.groundwater@uci.edu; we look forward to seeing you at our first Politics of Language presentation this year.