June Preview-Welcome to Pride Month 2021: The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Celebrates, Reflects, and Memorializes

Book spines with different LGBTQ* Pride Flags

This month is a big deal for us. We are keeping to the established pattern–a big think every Monday, a podcast every Saturday, and shorter content in between. But leading up to this, the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we will be using those established patterns to reflect on our own experiences and to amplify the voices of some of our friends in art and academia. Needless to say, the theme for our Big Thinks this month will be queerness and allyship, and our podcasts will also revolve around that theme.

We have a few featured interviews:

-We will be sitting down with Ula Klein (whose book Sapphic Crossings recently came out) and Kathryn Klein (who, when not writing academic pieces, writes queer murder mysteries),

-We will also be meeting with Jason Rudy and Kate Flint, editors of the new Victorian Era Broadview Press anthology, which will have a greater focus on gender and sexuality and race studies.

-In collaboration with the Port Washington Library, we will be releasing a lecture Andrew gave last year on the genealogy of LGBTQ* Lit. and how he makes use of a queer lens in his scholarship. 

Next week we will roll out this month’s theme for the weekly Big Think: “I don’t have to wait for you to give me the key,” beginning with Andrew’s piece on June 7. Each of us will reflect on how we’re checking in this Pride Month, and the team can’t wait to share our LGBTQ* Book Corner. Each week will offer which LGBTQ* texts we’re absorbing and poring over. Currently, Andrew is loving the experience of reading James Davidson’s The Greeks and Greek Love and Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half (more of that discussion in his Big Think). 

Andrew also just started the third season of Pose. The amplification of LGBTQ* communities of color (especially the transgender community) in this show is important for representation, and he’ll definitely return to this discussion after he concludes this season (Billy Porter is one of his favorites, as is Mj Rodriguez). So, here’s a favorite moment in the show, when the cast gathers together to sing “Love’s In Need of Love Today” (originally sung by Stevie Wonder) to provide love, community, and care for those dying from HIV. May we all find our own caring community when we experience such hardships. 

Happy Pride,

and Happy Reading!

-Andrew, Erika, Mary, and Adam

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