Queer Conflicts final 500

Queer Conflicts at the Brooklyn Book Festival

« Back to Events
This event has passed.
Queer Conflicts at the Brooklyn Book Festival
September 17, 2016 1:30 PM
September 17, 2016 3:00 PM
The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division and The Forum @ St. Ann’s
212 620 7310 ext. 300
September 5, 2016
St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church
Google Map
157 Montague Street, Brooklyn , NY, 11201, United States
Queer Conflicts final 500


The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division and The Forum @ St. Ann’s present:

Queer Conflicts

As courtroom battles turn into media frenzies and political wrangling, how are present conflicts redefining attitudes toward the queer experience in America? What conflicts are missing from dominant historical narratives about marriage, national security, social media, and policing of bathrooms, among others? The panel brings together activists, writers, and historians to discuss the changing political and social landscape of conflict in the LGBT community. Panelists include: Alexis De Veaux, James Downs, Sarah Schulman, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Timothy Stewart-Winter; with moderator Hrag Vartanian.


Saturday, September 17, at 1:30 pm

St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201


Queer Conflicts is a Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event

Brooklyn Book Festival 16_Bookend EventLogo


Please note: The Bureau will be selling books by the participating panelists at this event. To reserve a copy of any book, please write to us at



Co-Founder of The Center for Poetic Healing, a project of Lyrical Democracies ( with Kathy Engel, and of the Flamboyant Ladies Theatre Company (with Gwendolen Hardwick), ALEXIS DE VEAUX, Ph. D., is an activist and writer whose work in multiple genres is nationally and internationally known. Born and raised in Harlem, New York City, Ms. De Veaux is published in five languages-English, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Serbo-Croatian. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and publications, and she is the author of Spirits In The Street (1973); an award-winning children’s book, Na-ni (1973); Don’t Explain, A Song of Billie Holiday (1980); Blue Heat: A Portfolio of Poems and Drawings (1985); Spirit Talk (1997); An Enchanted Hair Tale (1987), a recipient of the 1988 Coretta Scott King Award presented by the American Library Association and the 1991 Lorraine Hansberry Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature. Ms. De Veaux’s plays include Circles, (1972); The Tapestry (1975); A Season to Unravel (1979); NO (1980); and Elbow Rooms (1986).

She also authored Warrior Poet, A Biography of Audre Lorde (2004). The first biography of the pioneering lesbian poet, Warrior Poet has won several prestigious awards including the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award, Nonfiction (2005), the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights Outstanding Book Award (2004), and the Lambda Literary Foundation Award for Biography (2004). In other media, Ms. De Veaux’s work appears on several recordings, including the highly-acclaimed album, Sisterfire (Olivia Records, 1985). As an artist and lecturer she has traveled extensively throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, Japan and Europe; and is recognized for her on-going contributions to a number of community-based organizations. She was named “Best Literary Artist” for 2005 by Buffalo’s premier cultural newspaper, ARTVOICE. In 2007 she was awarded a “Literary Legacy Award” from Just Buffalo Literary Center for her lifetime commitment to literature and literary advocacy.

Ms. De Veaux was a member of the faculty of the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1992-2013; teaching, most recently, as an associate professor of women’s and gender studies in the Department of Transnational Studies.  Recently back in New York City, she completed a novella, Yabo, published by Redbone Press (2014) and winner of the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction.  At present she is a member of the U.S. delegation of the “Feminists, Artists, Activists, and Academics: Crossing Black Geographies” dialogues, co-sponsored by NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and the Inkanyiso Collective (South Africa).

Further information is available on her author website, Follow Ms. De Veaux on Twitter: @AlexisDeVeaux



Jim Downs copy

Jim Downs is an Associate Professor of History at Connecticut College where he is also the Interim Director of The American Studies Program. He was recently an Andrew W. Mellon New Directions Fellow at Harvard University, where he gained training in medical anthropology. While at Harvard, Downs was also a fellow at The Weatherhead Initiative on Global History. Jim recently published Stand By Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Basic Books, 2016), which explains how the outbreak of HIV in the early 1980s caused many historians, journalists and others to portray the 1970s as a period of unfettered sex in order to explain the outbreak of HIV in the 1980s. Stand by Me corrects this misinterpretation by uncovering forgotten episodes from the decade. He had published articles in New York Times, New York Daily News, Vice, New Republic, Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.




Sarah Schulman is the author of CONFLICT IS NOT ABUSE: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair (forthcoming in October) Her most recent novel is The Cosmopolitans, set in Greenwich Village in 1958.

Please note that copies of Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair (Arsenal Pulp Press) will be available for purchase at this event. To reserve a copy, please write to us at



Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Ph.D., is the author of the short story collection, Blue Talk and Love (2015), a finalist for the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction and the 2016 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. Her writing has appeared in Best New Writing, GLQ, Palimpsest, American Fiction, Prairie Schooner, Callaloo, The Scholar and Feminist, Crab Orchard Review, Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize Stories, BLOOM, TriQuarterly, Feminist Studies, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing and many others. A 2016 Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the winner of the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, the Glenna Luschei Fiction Award, the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, and support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Social Sciences Research Council, the Mellon Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Yaddo, the Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat, and the Center for Fiction in New York City. Mecca is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst, and is currently an American Academy of University Women Fellow and Postdoctoral Fellow in Black Feminisms at Duke University, where she is completing a book manuscript on difference and poetic form in contemporary women’s literature of the African Diaspora.



Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic, a publication he founded in 2009 as a “forum for serious, playful and radical thinking”.  He has curated projects, exhibitions, and has organized public events. Highlights of his curatorial efforts include exhibitions at BAM, Storefront Gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and #theSocialGraphat Outpost, the world’s first multi-disciplinary exhibition of social media-related art in 2010. He has visited many universities and colleges as a visiting critic including RISD, Brooklyn College, UC Davis, Pratt, Columbia and UNLV, as well as moderated panel discussions and juried exhibitions for various organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Chautauqua Institution. He writes and lectures about contemporary art, performance, multiculturalism, politics, the internet, literature, and visual culture. His curatorial interests are focused on theories and practices of decolonization and he prefers to work in unorthodox spaces. Hrag has contributed to numerous online and print publications including the Art:21 news Boldtype, The Brooklyn RailHuffington PostAGBU News Magazine, Ararat Magazine, and NYFA Current. He has guest contributed to Al JazeeraNPR, ABC, and WNYC.