Legacies of Slavery: A Writer’s Reflection on Blackness and Queerness

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Professor Thomas Glave How does a group of people come to terms with the legacy of centuries of enslavement? What is the effect of this legacy on the creation of an identity, and how does this group treat its gay and lesbian members? Professor Thomas Glave (SUNY-Binghampton) has gained international praise for both his historical and literary work on race and sexuality studies, with a focus on the gay experience in Jamaica. His emotionally visceral short story ‘The Final Inning’ won the O. Henry Award (putting him in company with the likes of Mark Haddon, Lorrie Moore and AS Byatt) and his books of fiction and essays have attracted similar acclaim from the Lambda Literary Foundation for works exploring LGBT themes. His stories reveal the tensions both social and within the family of homophobic hostility, and the search for acceptance and fulfilment against the odds. In addition to his academic output, Professor Glave is a co-founder of J-FLAG (the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays) and works to draw attention to and campaign against anti-gay bigotry in Jamaica. In his upcoming presentation at the Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) entitled ‘Legacies of Slavery: A Writer’s Reflection on Blackness and Queerness’ Professor Glave will talk about the issues and challenges he has faced in his work on a subject is at once controversial, exhausting and dangerous. Through the examination of attitudes towards homosexuality this seminar will provide an opportunity to explore issues of race, culture and gender and sexuality studies with a focus on the role the legacy of slavery plays in Caribbean society. The event, hosted at the University of Liverpool at 5pm on 21 October, is free and open to the public – contact csis@liv.ac.uk for further information.