Scholar to discuss homophobia in academia in Bates lecture

Toni McNaron, professor emeritus of English and women’s studies at the University of Minnesota, discusses her book Poisoned Ivy: Lesbian and Gay Academics Confronting Homophobia(Temple University Press, 1996), at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, Campus Avenue, Bates College. The public is invited to attend free of charge.

McNaron’s book explores the ways in which higher education welcomes gay and lesbian scholarship but not gay and lesbian scholars. She focuses on her own experience as an “out” lesbian and reports on the experiences of 300 gay and lesbian scholars with at least 15 years of experience in their profession. The book received a 1997 honorable mention for Outstanding Book Awards, Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America.

An award-winning teacher and widely published scholar, McNaron is the author of I Dwell in Possibility: A Memoir (Feminist Press, 1992), Voices in the Night: Women Speaking About Incest(Cleis Press, 1983) and The Sister Bond: A Feminist View of a Timeless Connection” (Pergamon Press, 1985). She co-edited New Lesbian Studies: Into the 21st Century (Feminist Press, 1996).

McNaron received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, her M.A. from Vanderbilt University and her B.A. from the University of Alabama. She taught at All Saints Episcopal College before moving to the University of Minnesota, where she has been a member of the faculty for more than 30 years. Her areas of interest include Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, lesbian poetry, feminist criticism and pedagogy, and Milton.

McNaron’s talk is sponsored by the Multicultural Center. For more information, call 207-786-8215.

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