The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation: A Brief History of Lesbian Feminism

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Award-winning author and historian Lillian Faderman will discuss why lesbian feminism was so important to women in the 1970s and ‘80s.

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Please join us for the Calgary Institute for the Humanities Second Annual LGBTQ2S+ Lecture, featuring Lillian Faderman.

Dr. Lillian Faderman is the award-winning author of 11 books on lesbian and LGBT history; The New York Times named three of her books on its "Notable Books of the Year" list, and The Guardian named her book, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, one of the Top 10 Books of Radical History.

This event will look at why lesbian feminism was so important to women in the 1970s and ‘80s. Though premised on essentialist notions of “woman,” the lesbian feminist movement was an important corrective to the displacement lesbians suffered in the feminist movement, (where they’d been dubbed the “lavender menace”) and in the gay liberation movement (which was overwhelming male). Lesbian feminists created a unique culture that flourished throughout the 1970s and well into the ‘80s and, for many young lesbians, served as a crucial base for their development. The focus will be on how the movement emerged, what it did for women, the controversy that developed over TERF ("trans-exclusionary radical feminists" and the trans issue), and the complex reasons that account for its fall.

The event will be presented as a Zoom Webinar, featuring an introduction by Kevin Allen, Research Lead of the Calgary Gay History Project and author of Our Past Matters: Stories of Gay Calgary. Dr. Annette Timm, Professor in the Department of History at the University of Calgary and editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality, will host the discussion following the talk.

Presented in partnership with UCalgary Alumni.

Co-sponsored by the Journal of the History of Sexuality.

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