English Program Lounge, room 4406
Come hear Prof. Judith Raiskin, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Oregon, talk about her oral history project:
In the 1960s-90s Eugene, Oregon was known as a “lesbian mecca,” drawing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of young women from across the United States. Resisting the constraints and violence of patriarchy and capitalism, they created dozens of separatist collective businesses and cultural spaces, ran printing presses, led community service agencies, and produced and disseminated lesbian magazines, photographs, music, films, theater, dance, and art. Their organized resistance to the virulent anti-gay measures that swept Oregon and the nation in the 1970s-90s left a lasting legacy relevant to today’s political challenges for LGBTQ people. I filmed interviews with 83 of these queer elders who are now in their 70s and 80s. This is currently the largest video lesbian oral history project in the world, now curated in a rich digital exhibit, Outliers and Outlaws, and in a physical exhibit at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. My presentation will feature short composite videos of the narrators and clips from the forthcoming full length documentary. This presentation generates lively intergenerational engagement about what this communal defiance meant then and what this history offers us now, half a century later.