Signature Lecture Series

The Gender Institute hosts cutting edge scholars on gender and sexuality from across the U.S. and the globe. Often organized as thematic series, these lectures provide a rich opportunity for learning and discussion.

Fall 2023 Events

Presented in partnership with The University Archives:

Leslie Feinberg, Firebrand Books, and the “Place of Place” in LGBTQ History

with Dr. Jeffry Iovannone

Photo is a collage showing three people, looking at the camera.

From left to right: (1) Author photograph by Bill Hackwell that appeared on the back cover of the 1993 Firebrand Books edition of Stone Butch Blues. Firebrand Books records, #7670. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. (2) 1993 Firebrand Books edition of Stone Butch Blues. Book design by Betsy Bayley. Cover design by Debra Engstrom. Dr. Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State. (3) Jeffry Iovannone, in front of the Firebrand Books building, taken by Christine O'Malley.

Thursday, October 12, 2023
Center for the Arts Screening Room & via Zoom
3:30 - 5:00pm (EDT)
Free and open to the public.

Dr. Jeff Iovannone will discuss his award-winning, GIS-based exhibit Leslie Feinberg’s Buffalo: Historic Sites in Stone Butch Blues in the context of what he refers to as the “place of place,” or the role and importance of place and place-making, in U.S. LGBTQ history. The talk will highlight sites represented in transgender lesbian writer and activist Leslie Feinberg’s multiple award-winning novel Stone Butch Blues connected to the University at Buffalo, as well as the Firebrand Books Building in Ithaca, New York, as representative examples. Iovannone argues that preservationists have an imperative to conserve both LGBTQ places and spaces and will offer strategies that move from theory to practice, including when place and space are contested.

Dr. Jeff Iovannone (Yo-van-oh-nay) is a historian and historic preservation planner from Buffalo, New York who specializes in the social history of the built environment, LGBTQ heritage conservation, and queer site-based history. He holds a PhD in American Studies from the University at Buffalo and a Masters in Historic Preservation Planning with a minor in LGBT Studies from Cornell University. While at Cornell, Iovannone was the recipient of the Biddy Martin Graduate Prize for LGBTQ+ research for his digital, GIS-based exhibit Leslie Feinberg’s Buffalo: Historic Sites in Stone Butch Blues and the prestigious John W. Reps Award for superior academic excellence in historic preservation planning. From 2013 to 2021, he was a faculty member in the departments of History and Interdisciplinary Studies at the State University of New York at Fredonia, directed the program in Women’s and Gender Studies, and designed and taught the university’s first courses on LGBTQ history. Iovannone is a trailblazer in documenting the LGBTQ history of Upstate New York. In June 2020, he co-founded the Gay Places Initiative with Preservation Buffalo Niagara, a joint project that documents LGBTQ historic places in Buffalo. In 2022, he led a successful effort to locally landmark the building that housed the nationally recognized lesbian and feminist press Firebrand Books in Ithaca, New York. He also interned with the Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York and consults for the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, a cultural heritage initiative that is a national leader in LGBTQ preservation. Iovannone is currently a preservation planner with the Landmark Society of Western New York.

"Loving For the Next Generation"— A dramatic reading and exploration of Cherríe Moraga’s influential poetry and prose from Loving in the War Years and Other Writings 1978-1999

A woman with brown hair wearing a blue shirt, smiling at the camera.

Thursday, October 19, 2023
509 O'Brian Hall & via Zoom
4:00 - 5:30pm (EDT)
Free and open to the public.

In the newly revised, annotated, and reconfigured collection of her deeply intimate and fiercely impassioned queer Chicana writings, Moraga anticipates the liberatory struggles and critical inquires of the twenty-first century, from genderqueer identities to indigenous feminisms.  Q and A and book signing to follow. Books will be available for purchase at this event. 

Cherríe Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, essayist and playwright whose professional life began in 1981 with her co-editorship of the groundbreaking feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back:  Writings by Radical Women of Color.  The author of several collections of her own writings, including:  A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness, Loving in The War Years, and Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood, Moraga is the recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, among numerous other honors.  As a dramatist, her awards include an NEA, two Fund for New American Plays Awards, and the PEN West Award. Moraga’s most recent play, The Mathematics of Love, premiered at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco.  In 2017, she began her tenure as a Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where with her artistic partner, Celia Herrera Rodriguez, she has instituted Las Maestras Center: Xicana[x] Indigenous Thought, Art, and Social Praxis. Her most recent memoir, Native Country of the Heart, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  In 2023, Haymarket Books published new, updated anniversary editions of Waiting in the Wings and Loving in the War Years.