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Queer Faculty Symposium

Check back for more talks later in the semester!

Join us for the third talk of the Spring 2015 Queer Faculty Symposium!

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Second talk of QFS 2015: Dr. Mary Ann Davis

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First Talk of QFS 2015: Brent Armendinger, MFA

Queer Faculty Symposium Series

The purpose of the QFS Series is to highlight work that is furthering the visibility of queer issues in the academy as well as to showcase the work of queer and ally faculty across The Claremont Colleges. The QRC is pleased to announce the first event in the 2015 QFS Series. The QRC is pleased to announce the second talk in the series:

Domestic Intelligence: Armenian Matrilineal Rituals of Tasseography as Subversive Forms of Knowledge Production

Carina Karapetian Giorgi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, Pomona College

Thursday, April 2nd
4:00-5:00 PM @ The QRC

Please join the QRC in welcoming Professor Karapetian Giorgi for our third event in the 2015 Queer Faculty Symposium. This talk uses queer phenomenology and quantum physics (in the context of time travel) to examine the ways in which Armenian women bend space and time in places of domesticity which create sessions as an ongoing source of knowledge building, bonding, and discovery – seeking to examine how Armenian women strategically deploy and exchange information, dreams, desires and secrets with one another, while disrupting heteropatriarchal culture.

Carina Karapetian Giorgi, is a visiting assistant professor of sociology at Pomona College. As a Middle Eastern/queer/feminist researcher- her past work tracked the movements of transnational female migrants from Yerevan, Armenia to Los Angeles, California. She found this migration to be an unexamined growing phenomenon, which she felt constitutes a disruption in conventional gender relations within Armenia. Her current research project examines the Armenian matrilineal ritual and tradition of tasseography (coffee ground reading) from a queer/feminist/time travel perspective. Professor Giorgi explores Armenian women’s tasseography as a mode of renegotiating power, space, and knowledge contextualized within the larger framework of queer phenomenology and Middle Eastern feminisms. Her other work projects/interests include re-examining the Armenian genocide specifically focusing in on Armenian female fedayi fighters and female genocide survivors.

*Following her presentation, Professor Giorgi will demonstrate the ritual of tasseography by reading the coffee grounds/future of a few lucky audience members.

Light refreshments will be served. FMI please email our friendly staff at

Past Events in the 2015 Series

Thursday, March 5th - “Too Mundane to Make Good Erotic Drama”: Teasing Out the Queer Pleasures of Kink
Mary Ann Davis, Visiting Lecturer in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Scripps College

Often burdened with images of the monstrous and the extreme – dungeons, slave auctions, bloody needles – this talk will explore the more mundane elements – a negotiation over coffee, a shopping trip to the mall, a piece of chalk – of contemporary kink and BDSM practices. How does the mundane trouble the fantasy/reality question and the spice/vanilla divide in representations of kink and BDSM? How does the mundane intersect with race and class privileges in kink communities? Possible textual encounters include the 50 Shades franchise, short fiction by Patrick Califia, and blogs by kink practitioners such as Sinclair Sexsmith and the Perverted Negress.

Mary Ann Davis earned an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Michigan – where she was awarded a Hopwood Award – before completing a Ph.D. in English Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Her current critical book project, Useful Dangers, explores representations of sadomasochism, BDSM, and kink from nineteenth-century European sexology through yesterday’s blogposts on Sugerbutch or the Perverted Negress, tracing a queer narrative erotics of form across texts and practices. Her poems have appeared in In Posse Review, are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, and have won the 2011 Prism Review Poetry Prize. An essay published in OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts explores her consistent interest in bridging critical and lyrical thinking, and ethical and erotic living. She has presented on kink and BDSM at UC Riverside and the Claremont Colleges. She spent her formative years in Louisville, Kentucky, and now lives in Pasadena, plays in Los Angeles, and teaches in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Scripps College.

Wednesday, February 4th - Book Launch: The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying
Brent Armendinger, Associate Professor of English and World Literature, Pitzer College

The QRC hosted a reading and celebration of Professor Armendinger's new book of poetry, which explores the relationship between ethics and queer desire, infusing meditations on public life and politics with radical intimacy. Professor Armendinger read from his new book and asked student poets to join him in an open mic-style showcase.

Brent Armendinger grew up in the small town of Warsaw, NY, and studied at Bard College and the University of Michigan, where he received an Avery Hopwood Award in Poetry. He is the author of The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying (Noemi Press, 2015) , Archipelago (Noemi Press, 2009) and Undetectable (New Michigan Press, 2009). His poems have appeared in many publications, including Aufgabe, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Diagram, Fourteen Hills, Puerto del Sol, VOLT, and Web Conjunctions. He teaches creative writing at Pitzer College and lives in Los Angeles.