[csaa-forum] Dennis Altman: The Fight for Queer Rights (12pm, Sept 11, University of Melbourne)

Timothy Laurie timothy.laurie at unimelb.edu.au
Mon Sep 1 13:24:01 CST 2014

The Fight For Queer Rights
Dennis Altman

Time: 12pm-1.30pm, Thursday September 11
Venue: 4th Floor Linkway, John Medley Building, The University of Melbourne

Dennis Altman joins the Screen & Cultural Studies Seminar Series to discuss his latest book project, The Fight For Queer Rights, which builds on themes developed in The End of the Homosexual? (2013).

The Fight for Queer Rights asks how best to respond to the global cultural wars over (homo)sexual rights. Over the past decade sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) have become deeply contested within global politics, and there are increasing divisions between states committed to these rights, predominantly western and Latin American democracies, and their opponents, including Russia and a majority of Islamic and African states.

While other countries had raised the issue, Hillary Clinton’s declaration in 2011 that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights” marked an increasing attention to infringements of these rights. Western advocacy of LGBTI rights is often condemned as neo-colonial interference by those governments who reject Clinton’s language. In some states – mostly notably Russia and some members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – hostility to ‘sexuality rights’ is being used to justify more general attacks on human rights.

What are the links between sexual rights and broader questions of social justice and democracy, and are there other ways of framing the struggle to improve the situation for people who are marginalised because of their sexuality or gender expression?

Dennis Altman is a Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was President of the AIDS Society of Asia and the Pacific (2001-5), and has been a member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society and a Board member of Oxfam Australia. He was listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever [July 4 2006], and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia June 2008. His latest book, The End of the Homosexual? (2013), is available through the University of Queensland Press.

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