Virtual Roundtable Discussion on Migration and the Refugee Crisis

 

At the end of 2014, there were an estimated 19.5 million refugees worldwide. This crisis was drawn once again into sharp light as Syrian refugees flooded Europe in recent months. Many of these people are families with children, forced to flee their homes or risk their safety.

Join us Friday, October 16, 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST for a virtual roundtable discussion on migration and the refugee crisis. Our panel of experts span the social sciences and humanities to examine issues of refugees and migration ranging from ethics, family studies, and geo-political. Register today as seating is limited!

Our Panelists

Immanuel NessDr. Immanuel Ness is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Editor-in-Chief of The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, Ness’ research focuses on labor, urban political economy, migration, imperialism, and social mobilizations, worker insurrections, strikes, solidarity in Global North and Global South.

He is a labor activist who founded the New York Unemployed Committee, Lower East Side Community-Labor Coalition and labor organizer for several unions.

 

Serena ParekhDr. Serena Parekh is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University, where she also holds the position as Director of the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program. Her primary research interests are in social and political philosophy, feminist theory, continental philosophy, and the philosophy of human rights.

Dr. Parekh has contributed to noted journals such as Hypatia, Philosophy Compass, and The Southern Journal of Philosophy. She is also the Editor of the APA Newsletter on Feminism and Philosophy.

 

Reenee SinghDr. Reenee Singh is a family therapist based in London at the House Partnership. She is also Co-Director at the Tavistock and UEL Family Therapy and Systemic Research Centre as well as Editor of the Journal of Family Therapy.

Singh holds a particular interest in the intersection of therapy, race and culture. She attributes her personal history and cultural context, growing up in India and having lived and worked in Singapore, as an influence her approach to therapy, research, supervision and training.

Advertisements

Next Steps in LGBT: Continuing Awareness

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.” —Nathaniel Branden, American Psychologist

National Equality March 2009
Photo credit: Flicker—Kyle Rush

Thank you, readers, for joining us on our month-long LGBT blog take-over. Together we turned a critical eye on the human rights and rhetoric surrounding the LGBT community. Expanding past the common belief that equality is purely a social issue, our guest editors and articles showed relevance in business, education, psychology, bioethics and more. To facilitate the continuation of our thoughts and communal work, we’re setting free more scholarly articles and book chapters focused on awareness as a crucial engine in social change. Take a look at our page to see the latest in research across the social sciences and humanities in awareness.

The engine for social change is a moving target; one that if we’re not reading and engaging with, it can stall out. LGBT Pride Month garnered significant momentum in 2015 and we encourage you to share this page, the blog, your comments, and this content with peers. Keep talking, thinking, and demanding human rights and advocacy because if we learned anything from this month, it’s that LGBT rights affect all of us.

Highlights:

From our top-read blog post, Queering Philosophy—How can queer theory inform and transform the practice of Philosophy?

“The goal then has to be not to establish queer theory as a recognized subfield in philosophy, but to elaborate how the questions and methods of queer thought can more generally inform and transform the practice of philosophy and its standards for knowledge production.” —Annika Thiem, Hypatia

Read more

Business and LGBTQ, LGBTs in the Workplace

“The purpose of this special issue is to take LGBT scholarship to the next stage by gathering new knowledge and extending theory on LGBT individuals in the workplace.” —Canadian Journal of Administrative Science

Read more

The Coming Out Story—YouTube Beauty Guru, Ingrid Nilsen, Comes Out in Emotional Video

“Ingrid’s story is unique in that it had by 900,000 hits in eight hours.” —Kathryn Coble

Read more

Closing the Question about Trans-Identities

3111086451_91879a4b16_oWas there ever a time in which a person could have argued for the moral acceptability of slavery without doing something gravely wrong in the very arguing? Maybe not, but it ever there were, it is now long, long, past; some questions are simply closed.

Questions about the validity of transpeople’s identities—of whether, e.g., transwomen are “really” women, eligible to apply to Smith College and to use women’s restroom, have been considered fair game since we emerged into public view. Whether expressed in academic prose, in political posturing, or in outright sneers, such questions are heard by many transpeople as profoundly disparaging, and sometimes menacing.

Yet if the tide of social attitudes and practices easing passages between genders keeps swelling, such debates might become as out of place as, say, a serious discussion about whether homosexuality is a mental illness. The sound you hear may be the closing of yet another question about how human beings may live together.

What I wonder about is this: in the time remaining before trans becomes just another way of having a gender, as, say, adoption is just another way of becoming a parent, is there anything that need not be disparaging, that might actually be helpful, to be said? Might it be good for transpeople to take a moment to think about whether their own understandings and practices might sometimes be politically retrograde, or to have some insight into the challenge their lives pose to how cisgender people now have to reimagine themselves?

Jamie Lindemann Nelson

The Hastings Center Report

Professor at Michigan State University

The End of Reparative Therapy

50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality

With the removal of homosexuality as a mental illness in the 1970’s came a change in how therapists treated gay, lesbian, and bisexual patients. Instead of attempting to change a patient’s sexual orientation, experts were told to help them understand it and learn to cope in what was still a very homophobic society.
When mental health professionals changed, however, religious organizations picked up the mantle and started ministries dedicated to “reparative” therapy. Their members—who were sometimes referred to as ex-gays—went through programs that varied from independent bible study to aversion therapy, which involved administering electric shocks every time a patient became aroused by gay pornography.
These groups were very vocal for a few decades and lent their support to efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals; they argued against teaching about sexual orientation in schools, fought the formation of gay-straight alliances, opposed marriage equality, and worked to prevent LGBTQ individuals from adopting children.
Their arguments were all grounded in the idea that sexual orientation could change, that people didn’t have to be gay. Ex-gays were paraded around as success stories—such as in a 1998 ad that insisted men could “pray away the gay.”
And then the truth began to come out. Some leaders of this movement were caught having homosexual affairs, visiting gay bars, or meeting men online. Others stepped forward to admit they were wrong, that they are still gay, and that sexual orientation does not change. In 2013, Exodus International—one of the largest and at one point most powerful, ex-gay ministries—shut its doors.
Now, in the United States at least, it looks like the time of reparative therapy has passed. The courts have held up laws in two states banning the practice for minors. The White House came out against it. And two Democratic Senators recently introduced a resolution condemning it.
But probably the best sign that its days are numbered come in the apologies from those who once sang its praises. Like these words from Exodus’ last president Alan Chambers: “I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change….  I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse.”

Martha Kempner, 2015.
Martha Kempner is co-author with Pepper Schwartz of 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality published 2015 by Wiley

Comment on our blog posts for a chance to win a free book

Blogging today is a dime a dozen, each with an arsenal of snappy, digestible, tips and tricks for everything from career advice to trimming off excess fat. In a world full of click-holes, we often find ourselves falling social media voyeurs; readers of content stopping just short of posting a comment. We’re all guilty at one point or another of this.

We’re about half-way through our month long LGBT takeover here on the blog and we’ve had a variety of guest bloggers write in and share with us their thoughts on the philosophy, ethics, and social situation surrounding the LGBT community but we’re missing something; input from our readers.

Comment on any blog post on LGBT studies from today until July 10th to be automatically entered for a chance to win a free paperback book! Winners will be contacted about their prize individually.

Here’s some of what we’re raffling off:

America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies, 2nd Edition
America on Film: Rep.Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality at the Movies
 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality
A Global History of Sexuality
A Global History of Sexuality
Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture
Sexuality in Greek and Roman Culture

YouTube Beauty Guru Ingrid Nilsen Comes Out in Emotional Video

Ingrid NilsenIf you’ve been on Facebook, YouTube, or even Time.com in the last ten hours, you may have seen the headlines that Ingrid Nilsen, a YouTube beautician with a following of 3.3 million followers, announced this morning to all her followers that she is gay. In between bouts of emotion and personal philosophy, Ingrid describes the overwhelming need she felt to have this conversation with her followers. Her story, honesty, and personal connection come at a pivotal time in our cultural acceptance of the “coming out” story.

Many in the LGBT community have a story of a similar hardship coming out to friends, family, and loved ones. It is not unheard of for social media outlets to spread notes, reactions, and personal stories like this across a member base. Ingrid’s story is unique in that it had by 900,000 hits in eight hours. The story has been picked up by multiple media outlets this morning and has subsequently raised viewership to 2,037,797 when this piece was written. For comparison, her other YouTube videos are on average around 500,000+ page views, almost 4 times her average viewership for one post.

Is the amplified reach and share-ability of these social media proclamations garnering the necessary support of our culture for acceptance? What will the cultural impact be of news outlets like Time picking up this personal story? Does this place pressure on the LGBT community to “come out” on social platforms or capture that moment in some way?

We encourage you to share your thoughts and comments on this post below. If you’re interested on reading scholarly content, made free this month only to support the continuation of conversations surrounding the LGBT Community, read here.

Bruce Jenner and the Aging Celebrity

Bruce JennerBruce Jenner’s gender transition has been the subject of obsessive media attention for some months now, culminating in Diane Sawyer’s interview of him on the ABC news show 20/20.  In a poignant exchange, Jenner declared that the gods had given him the soul of a woman as a cosmic joke. Much has been written on importance of Jenner’s revelation for the acceptance of transgendered people, but the interview also gives a fascinating glimpse into aging celebrity.
In the age of film and photograph, celebrities were trapped like flies in amber, caught in an eternal moment of youth, beauty, glamor and talent.   When a Daily Mail journalist recently asked Bridget Bardot, one of the most beautiful women of her generation, how she differed from Marilyn Monroe, she said, “We were both victims of our image which imprisoned us.”  Aging has never been kind to celebrities, especially women who have been frozen by the photograph and the movie still.
Transitioning to female at sixty-five, Jenner has the ability to revise the archive of his past images.  In the ABC interview, we are presented with a photo album of Jenner’s life, from his childhood on.   Some of these are candid and private; others are old media images. Footage of Jenner’s great 1976 Olympic achievements scroll by, as Sawyer narrates the meaning of his former media embodiment as “the muscle and glory of America.”   All of these images are subject to a massive emotional overhaul, as Jenner tearfully talks about his inner feelings of experiencing another identity, one quite different than the hypermasculine “world’s greatest athlete” of a former life.
Astonishing is the new intimacy of celebrity that we now witness over entire lifetimes.  Celebrity is no longer a fixed gaze, but an immersive experience that demands understanding of change and reflection on the cosmic joke of our own aging. As we watch other celebrities age, how will these reflections expand and deepen?

Ann Larabee, Editor

Journal of Popular Culture

Interested in more from the Journal of Popular Culture? Take a look at the Free Sample Issue.