Lecture Series

For more details about the 2017 LGBT Symposium, "Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens," Twenty Years Later: A Celebration of the Scholarship of Cathy Cohen
visit http://wmst.umd.edu/cohen

At the close of the 20th century, Cathy Cohen insisted that “…a truly radical or transformative politics has not resulted from queer activism.” She instead offered ideas about coalitions organized in the name of the “nonnormative” and “marginal” and based in an intersectional analysis of power that demanded a move beyond an assimilative LGBT agenda. Twenty years after the publication of Cohen’s “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” the relevance of these words echo loudly in our current political era. Cohen’s call became the basis for important research and political work in regards to race, sexuality, and class. In celebration of that landmark essay, and her overall breadth of scholarship and activism, this symposium invites Cohen and a wide range of other scholars and activists to revisit the influence of her vision and to explore the question: What does transformative political activism look like in the 21st century?

Cathy J. Cohen is the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science and former chair of the department. She has served as the Deputy Provost for Graduate Education and is the former Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. Cohen is the author of two books: Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics (Oxford University Press 2010) and The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (University of Chicago Press 1999) and co-editor with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader (NYU, 1997). Her work has been published in numerous journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, GLQ, NOMOS, and Social Text. Cohen is principal investigator of two major projects: The Black Youth Project and the Mobilization, Change and Political and Civic Engagement Project. Her general field of specialization is American politics, although her research interests include African-American politics, women and politics, lesbian and gay politics, and social movements.


Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman, English, African and Afro-American Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Brandeis University
Marlon Bailey, Women’s and Gender Studies, Arizona State University
Darius Bost, Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University
Kenyon Farrow, Treatment Action Group
Chandra Ford, Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles
Dayo Gore, Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies, University of California, San Diego
Sarah Haley, Gender Studies and African American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
LaMonda Horton-Stallings, Women’s Studies, University of Maryland
Jonathan Lykes, Black Youth Project 100, DC
Nic John Ramos, American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
C. Riley Snorton, Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University
Lester Spence, Political Science, John Hopkins University


Department of American Studies; Department of English; Department of Government & Politics; Department of Women’s Studies; College of Arts and Humanities; Office of Diversity & Inclusion; Office of Undergraduate Studies; Asian American Studies Program; Center for American Politics & Citizenship; Center for Literary and Comparative Studies; Center for Race, Gender, and Ethnicity; LGBT Equity Center Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies; and the Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy.

Department of African American Studies; Department of English;

Christina Hanhardt (American Studies, University of Maryland) and LaMonda Horton-Stallings (Women's Studies, Univeristy of Maryland)