Bodies of Knowledge Symposium Scheduled for Upstate

Chrissy Lowe
Staff Writer


Leigh Hendrix, one of the people who are schedule to perform at Bodies Of Knowledge.

With all the recent news involving gay rights on a national and global level, and the local controversy over the Preface book, “Out Loud,” students might be interested in knowing more about an upcoming event on the USC Upstate campus entitled, the Bodies of Knowledge Symposium. The Director of Women’s & Gender Studies, Dr. Lisa Johnson is hosting this event on April 10 and 11 in the CLC Ballroom. This is Dr. Johnson’s sixth time hosting this event since the first one in spring of 2008. This year’s theme is centered on LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) cultural norms.

Some of the things you can expect to see there will be a comedic performance by Leigh Hendrix “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less” (on Thursday April 10) and a scholarly talk by feminist sociologist, Dr. Bernadette Barton, on “The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays” (on Friday, April 11), among many other topics. A catered lunch will be served during a break on Friday.

Certain SC legislators have already raised questions, behind the scenes, about the symposium. In my interview with Dr. Johnson about these questions, she pointed out that USC Upstate is home to a wide range of LGBTQ students, faculty and staff.  “…And one of the great pleasures and principled values of this symposium is the opportunity to acknowledge and de-stigmatize their lives as part of the human experience.”

Political Science major, Monique Gardner, who is minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies, says she is definitely going to attend the event, “..It’s not every day that we get to have this opportunity to learn and listen to the stores, thoughts, and experiences of the LGBTQ community.”

The event is completely free for USC Upstate students, faculty and staff; for everyone else, there will be a small fee. All participants are asked to register online in advance.  To date, there are already many students and faculty registered to attend this event, as well as a handful of people coming from Columbia, Illinois and even Canada! If you are unable to attend all of the event, don’t fear;  anyone can attend as much or as little as they want. Also, feel free to come and go during each day if you too or need too. Just don’t forget to resister.

If you would like to register or learn more about the speakers, please go to