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Rachel Lewis, George Mason University, to Lecture on Queer Intimacies

Rachel Lewis, assistant professor in the Women and Gender Studies Program at George Mason University, will give a lecture at Washington and Lee University on March 24 at 5 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater.

She will speak on “Queer Intimacies: Visualizing Black Lesbian Desire in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” The talk is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.

“Despite South Africa’s move to legalize gay marriage in 2006, the violent attacks against black lesbians have increased significantly during the past 10 years,” said Lewis. “Human rights reports repeatedly stress how black lesbians in South Africa suffer from triple discrimination by virtue of being female, black and lesbian.”

In this talk, Lewis will examine visual art produced by lesbian human rights activists in South Africa that is emerging to contest the racialized, gendered and sexualized constructions of black lesbian vulnerability within mainstream humanitarian advocacy.

Her research and teaching interests include transnational feminisms, queer theory, media and cultural studies, sexuality, race and immigration, human rights and transnational sexualities. She has published articles in journals such as Sexualities, Justice, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and Music and Letters.

Her latest publications are “Introduction: Queer Migration, Asylum and Displacement,” in Sexualities (ed., 2014); “‘Gay? Prove It’: The Politics of Queer Anti-Deportation Activism,” in Sexualities (ed., 2014) and “Deportable Subjects: Lesbians and Political Asylum,” in Feminist Formations (2013).