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Sex Matters: Graduate Research Conference

Sex Matters at UCR: Graduate Student Research Conference Examines Sexualities From a Variety of Disciplines

Graduate students will present papers, do performance art and host panels on sexualities as approached from perspectives such as film, literature, ethics, science, medicine and economics.

(February 14, 2006)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — Playwrights and poets, biologists and botanists, even historians and economists all study sexuality from different perspectives. Those approaches are the theme of “Sex Matters: Sexualities Across the Disciplines,” a University of California, Riverside graduate student conference scheduled for Feb. 24 and 25.

All events are free and open to the public. Parking on campus is $6 per day. For details about the conference, contact Pamella Rousseau in the Graduate Student Association office at (951) 827-3141 or send an e-mail to

The research conference, in its second year, will be held in downtown Riverside at the UCR/California Museum of Photography (UCR/CMP), 3824 Main St, and at the Engineering II building on the UCR campus. It will include presentations from UCR graduate students in the sciences, humanities, arts and social sciences, as well as presentations by graduate students from other campuses.

The bulk of the conference is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Engineering II on Feb. 25, and will cover a variety of topics, including the role of sex in natural plant and animal populations, biomedical approaches to sexually transmitted diseases, Whitman’s obsession with masturbation, Victorian pornography, Queer Asian perspectives in contemporary literature, masculinity in film noire and sexual deviance in society.

L.A.-based performance artists Ron Athey and Juliana Snapper will kick off the conference with a performance of “The Judas Cradle” at the UCR/CMP at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24. The piece ran at the REDCAT Theatre of Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall in 2005.

The conference will also feature two keynote speakers on Feb. 25. At 11:30 a.m. in Engineering II room 138, UCR Professor of Biology Marlene Zuk, will give a talk titled, “Penguin Sexual Politics: Family Values in Black and White,” which will touch upon the controversy surrounding the movie “March of the Penguins,” and the revelation of gay penguins in the Central Park Zoo. Zuk is the author of “Sexual Selections: What We Can and Can’t Learn about Sex from Animals.”

At 5 p.m. in Engineering II room 138, UC Santa Cruz Professor of English and American Literature Susan Gillman will give her address titled, “Next to the Problem of the Color Line,” focusing on W.E.B. DuBois and gender. Gillman is the author of “Blood Talk: American Race Melodrama and the Culture of the Occult.”

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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