Our Next Event

Genevieve Hudson & Alden Jones: A Virtual Reading with the Bureau

Jones Hudson event

  Join the Bureau online for a reading with Genevieve Hudson (Boys of Alabama) and Alden Jones (The Wanting Was a Wilderness: Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and the Art of Memoir) on Saturday, June 13th, 6 to 7 PM EST.   Genevieve Hudson will read from her new novel, Boys of Alabama. Melissa Febos says of Boys of [...]

Sat. Jun 13, 2020 6:00 PM

Events

March 10, 2020

Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Theory, Sexuality, and Subversion

 

The Bureau is excited to partner again with the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research to bring you:
 
Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Theory, Sexuality, and Subversion
 
Instructor: Paige Sweet
 
1990 saw the publication of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, a text that has become required reading for anyone interested in feminist theory, critical appraisals of gender, and the burgeoning field of queer theory. Central to Butler’s theory is the concept of performativity as a way to describe how we become gendered subjects, that is, how we come to enact gender in recognizable ways. The text is also well known for its account of how certain kinds of performative (gendered) practices—like drag—might become subversive; or how, as Butler says, it might be possible “to open up the field of possibility for gender.” Gender Trouble has proved surprisingly controversial, notably for its difficult prose, but also for its treatment of the body as discursively produced, as well as for its ambiguous “subversive” politics. How, 30 years after publication, does Gender Trouble complicate, or help us make sense of, contemporary problems of feminism, identity, queerness, and politics?
 
Whether one is a devotee of Gender Trouble or to some degree a skeptic, it remains a text to be reckoned with. This course will take Gender Trouble as the primary text and keep both approaches in mind—one appraising, one critical—as we pair it with select supplemental readings. We will consider its historical context and theoretical frameworks. In addition, we’ll grapple with the insights and limitations of its core arguments about gender and sexuality. Finally, we’ll consider how its politics resonate (or don’t) today. We will ask: Why was it written when it was? With what other texts and ideas was it in conversation? How does it understand the relation between language and categories of sex and sexuality? What polyvalent meanings of performativity, whether reverential or revisionary, did Gender Trouble originate and inspire? What is the legacy of Butler’s argument for shifting the subject of feminism away from “women” to “gender”—especially in view of Robin Weigman’s critique, or in view of more recent studies of trans subjectivity? How might we evaluate the political potentials or failures of parody today? Although some might come to the course curious about enduring relevance of this seminal text, the course also welcomes first-time readers of Butler’s work.

 

The Bureau sells copies of Judith Butler‘s Gender Trouble, among other titles by Butler. Please support the Bureau by buying books from us! Thank you!

 

Course Schedule

March 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2020
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm
4 sessions

$315.00*

Registration is required. Please click here.

 

*Three scholarship spaces are reserved in each course because we realize that not everyone can afford to pay the full fee for our courses. Students who cannot pay the full fee should email us at [email protected] to learn about our scholarship options. We will not ask questions about your financial situation but we do ask that you use the system in good faith and consider the needs of other students and faculty members.

 

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.

 

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is an organization of young scholars in New York City, founded in November 2011 by a few then-graduate students at Columbia University with a shared interest in pedagogy and genuinely interdisciplinary conversation. We teach classes all over the city, record a regular podcast, run a digital humanities initiative to preserve rare and out-of-print academic texts, and in general work frantically at any given time on a broad range of other academic and para-academic projects. We are a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.

 

Image: photograph by Elizabeth Ohlson Wallin
 
 
 
 
 

Start: March 10, 2020 6:30 PM
End: March 10, 2020 9:30 PM
Venue: online
Address:
NY, United States
Cost: $315 for four-week course (see description)

March 6, 2020

The New Feminine: Poetry Reading & Open Mic

 
A reading and discussion featuring Chocolate Waters, Tantra-Zawadi, Patricia Carragon, and Iris N. Schwartz. Open mic for anyone who identifies as feminine or non-binary.

 

 
Chocolate Waters has been writing and publishing poetry for over five decades. During the second wave of feminism, she was one of the first openly lesbian poets to publish. Her latest collection, Muddying the Holy Waters, will be released by Eggplant Press in 2020. The Greatest Hits of Chocolate Waters, a “Sapphic Classic” chosen by Sinister Wisdom will appear sometime in 2022. Poets Wear Prada published her poetry chapbook The Woman Who Wouldn’t Shake Hands in 2011. Like and follow her at https://www.facebook.com/ChocolateWatersPoet/

 

Tantra-Zawadi, recording artist, performance poet, actress, educator, and mentor, is author of 3 collections of poetry including her latest Bubbles: One Conscious Breath (Poets Wear Prada, 2013).

 

Patricia Carragon’s recent publications include Bear Creek Haiku, First Literary-East , Jerry Jazz Musician, Narrative Northeast Review, and Stardust Haiku. Her latest books Meowku (2019) and The Cupcake Chronicles (2017) were both published by Poets Wear Prada. Her debut novel, Angel Fire, is forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press. Patricia hosts Brownstone Poets monthly reading series and is the editor-in-chief of its annual anthology.

 

Iris N. Schwartz is the author of more than sixty works of fiction. Her flash appears in dozens of publications, including Blink-Ink, Crack the Spine, Fictive Dream, Gravel, Jellyfish Review, and Literary Orphans. Her second short short story collection, Shame (Poets Wear Prada, 2019), contains Best Microfiction 2018 nominee “Dogs” and was shortlisted by North of Oxford for recommended summer 2019 reading. Ms. Schwartz has also written erotica, most notably the story “Hedonics,” anthologized in Stirring Up a Storm: Tales of the Sensual, the Sexual, and the Erotic (Running Dog Press).

 

 

 

Start: March 6, 2020 7:00 PM
End: March 6, 2020 9:00 PM
Venue: online
Address:
NY, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

March 4, 2020

OLNY Poly Movie Night: Habana Eva

 

Open Love NY presents Poly Movie Night, a FREE series of feature films that focus on the portrayal of consensual / ethical non-monogamy in cinema. Our regular venue is the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division.

 

On March 4th please join us for a viewing of Habana Eva (2010), directed by Fina Torres and starring Prakriti Maduro, Yuliet Cruz, and Juan Carlos García.

 

We’ll meet at 6:30 pm at the Bureau (in room 210 of The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center at 208 West 13th Street) for pre-screening socializing and start the movie at 7 pm. The event is free, although a $10 suggested donation to help fund future events is much appreciated.

 

Synopsis: Eva, a factory seamstress living with her parents in Havana, dreams of designing clothes and is frustrated by the rut her relationship with her boyfriend has fallen into, when she meets a wealthy visitor from Venezuela. Running time: 1 hour 46 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.

 

 

 

Start: March 4, 2020 6:30 PM
End: March 4, 2020 9:30 PM
Venue: online
Address:
NY, United States
Cost: Suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Bureau and Open Love New York. No one turned away for lack of funds.

March 3, 2020

Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Theory, Sexuality, and Subversion

 

The Bureau is excited to partner again with the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research to bring you:
 
Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Theory, Sexuality, and Subversion
 
Instructor: Paige Sweet
 
1990 saw the publication of Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, a text that has become required reading for anyone interested in feminist theory, critical appraisals of gender, and the burgeoning field of queer theory. Central to Butler’s theory is the concept of performativity as a way to describe how we become gendered subjects, that is, how we come to enact gender in recognizable ways. The text is also well known for its account of how certain kinds of performative (gendered) practices—like drag—might become subversive; or how, as Butler says, it might be possible “to open up the field of possibility for gender.” Gender Trouble has proved surprisingly controversial, notably for its difficult prose, but also for its treatment of the body as discursively produced, as well as for its ambiguous “subversive” politics. How, 30 years after publication, does Gender Trouble complicate, or help us make sense of, contemporary problems of feminism, identity, queerness, and politics?
 
Whether one is a devotee of Gender Trouble or to some degree a skeptic, it remains a text to be reckoned with. This course will take Gender Trouble as the primary text and keep both approaches in mind—one appraising, one critical—as we pair it with select supplemental readings. We will consider its historical context and theoretical frameworks. In addition, we’ll grapple with the insights and limitations of its core arguments about gender and sexuality. Finally, we’ll consider how its politics resonate (or don’t) today. We will ask: Why was it written when it was? With what other texts and ideas was it in conversation? How does it understand the relation between language and categories of sex and sexuality? What polyvalent meanings of performativity, whether reverential or revisionary, did Gender Trouble originate and inspire? What is the legacy of Butler’s argument for shifting the subject of feminism away from “women” to “gender”—especially in view of Robin Weigman’s critique, or in view of more recent studies of trans subjectivity? How might we evaluate the political potentials or failures of parody today? Although some might come to the course curious about enduring relevance of this seminal text, the course also welcomes first-time readers of Butler’s work.

 

The Bureau sells copies of Judith Butler‘s Gender Trouble, among other titles by Butler. Please support the Bureau by buying books from us! Thank you!

 

Course Schedule

March 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2020
Tuesdays, 6:30-9:30pm
4 sessions

$315.00*

Registration is required. Please click here.

 

*Three scholarship spaces are reserved in each course because we realize that not everyone can afford to pay the full fee for our courses. Students who cannot pay the full fee should email us at [email protected] to learn about our scholarship options. We will not ask questions about your financial situation but we do ask that you use the system in good faith and consider the needs of other students and faculty members.

 

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.

 

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is an organization of young scholars in New York City, founded in November 2011 by a few then-graduate students at Columbia University with a shared interest in pedagogy and genuinely interdisciplinary conversation. We teach classes all over the city, record a regular podcast, run a digital humanities initiative to preserve rare and out-of-print academic texts, and in general work frantically at any given time on a broad range of other academic and para-academic projects. We are a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.

 

Image: photograph by Elizabeth Ohlson Wallin
 
 
 
 
 

Start: March 3, 2020 6:30 PM
End: March 3, 2020 9:30 PM
Venue: online
Address:
NY, United States
Cost: $315 for four-week course (see description)

February 28, 2020

Romans/Snowmare Book Launch

 

Come celebrate the launch of Cam Scott‘s Romans/Snowmare—a daybook of anti-capitalist ideation, a homoerotic reinvention of the prairie long poem, a ludic experiment with language and duration.
 
Copies of Romans/Snowmare will be available for purchase at the Bureau. To reserve a copy please write to us at [email protected]. Please support the Bureau by buying books from us. Thank you!
 
 
CAM SCOTT is a poet, critic, and non-musician from Winnipeg, Canada, Treaty 1 territory. He is the author of WRESTLERS, a visual suite published by Greying Ghost in 2017, and ROMANS/SNOWMARE, published by ARP Books in 2019. In addition to his own writing and musical practice, he is artistic director of send + receive, a festival of sound art and experimental music based out of Winnipeg.
 
 
MIA KANG writes poems and other perversions. She is the author of City Poems (2020), a poetry pamphlet from ignitionpress. Mia was named the 2017 winner of Boston Review’s Annual Poetry Contest by Mónica de la Torre, and her writing has appeared in journals including POETRY, Washington Square Review, Narrative Magazine, and PEN America. She is a Brooklyn Poets Fellow, runner-up for the 2019 and 2017 Discovery Poetry Contests, and finalist for the 2019 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Mia is a PhD student in the history of art at Yale University, where she studies the contested rise of U.S. multiculturalism and its failures. www.miaadrikang.com
 
 
IAN DREIBLATT is a writer and translator interested in paganism, the ends of worlds, writing, and socialist mass culture. Recentish chapbooks include barishonah (DoubleCross Press) and how to hide by showing in the age of being alone with the universe (above/ground press); recentish translations include the prison letters of Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova (Comradely Greetings, Verso Books) and the poems of Pavel Arseniev (Reported Speech, Cicada Press). Forthcoming books include a translation of Dmitrii Furman’s Spiral (Verso Books) and a full-length poetry collection (forget thee, Ugly Duckling Presse). He is TV Commercials Correspondent at the Believer and edits Counter. If you but express mild interest, he will surely cook you soup.
 
 
 
 

Start: February 28, 2020 7:00 PM
End: February 28, 2020 9:00 PM
Venue: online
Address:
NY, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.