Paris is Burning Screening and Panel Discussion

December 29, 2017
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Wexner Center for the Arts (1871 N. High Street)
Advertisement for screening and panel discussion of Paris is Burning.

Black sexuality and queer identity have posed serious contentions, both within the black community and in popular culture at large. How and what black people do with their bodies, and how they negotiate their sexuality and sexual experiences, have been taboo topics of discussion for decades.

Winner of several film awards, such as a Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and a GLAAD Media Award, Paris Is Burning provides a powerful and stimulating look at the golden age of drag ballroom culture in 1980s Harlem—a crucible of LGBTQ expression and style, as well as a refuge for the scene’s Latino and African American youth.

The iconic cult documentary will be screening on campus in February, followed by an engaging discussion of black gay life then and today, as well as how black sexuality and sexual liberation is expressed, performed, and experienced in all its cultural forms. This event is free and open to the public.

The panel will be lead by the following speakers:

Terrance Dean
Speaker, educator, and author Terrance Dean is a PhD candidate in the Graduate Department of Religion at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he was also a 2005 John Seigenthaler Journalism Scholar. Dean is the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoir Hiding in Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry—from Music to Hollywood (Simon & Schuster, 2008) as well as Reclaim Your Power! A 30-Day Guide to Hope, Healing, and Inspiration for Men of Color (Random House, 2003) and Straight from Your Gay Best Friend: The Straight-Up Truth about Relationships, Work, and Having A Fabulous Life (Agate, 2010). Dean made his fiction debut with his novel Mogul (Simon & Schuster, 2011) and contributed a novella to the anthology Visible Lives: Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris (Kensington, 2010). His writing has also appeared in Vibe, Essence, XXL, and the Huffington Post. Dean is currently a visiting scholar here at Ohio State in the Department of African American and African Studies.

Townsand Price-Spratlen
Townsand Price-Spratlen is an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State with research interests that include the sociology of religion, social justice, and the history of African American organizational development, with a focus on how community organization practices shaped the Great Migration during and after the Jim Crow era. His current research analyzes how faith-health relationships help reduce health disparities and how former felons collaborate with grassroots organizations to nurture community justice. Price-Spratlen’s research and social justice affiliations include the Columbus Congregations for Healthy Youth project, the Advisory Board of Reconstruction, and the American Friends Service Committee. Price-Spratlen completed his PhD at the University of Washington in 1993.


Shannon Winnubst
Professor and Chair of the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Ohio State, Shannon Winnubst has worked on the complex dynamics of race and sexuality for over 20 years. In addition to dozens of essays and editorial projects, she has written two books: Queering Freedom (Indiana University Press, 2006) and Way Too Cool: Selling Out Race and Ethics (Columbia University Press, 2015). She vividly remembers the groundbreaking release of Paris Is Burning in 1990 and is excited to explore the film again in 2018.

This event is co-sponsored by the the Sexuality Studies Program, The Transnational Black Citizenship Discovery Theme Project, and the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

For more information and updates, please visit the Facebook event page.

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