In this third installment of our miniseries for LGBT History Month 2018 we turn to the issues confronted by LGBT older adults and ageing. At the moment in the United States, there are around 2.7 million LGBT people over the age of 50 and about 1.1 million over the age of 65. These numbers are likely to double by the year 2050 and as developed countries around the world face up to the challenge of an ageing population over the next few decades, the particular problems associated with LGBT ageing will come more sharply into focus.
Today on The Provocateur I talk to Tim R. Johnston, Director of National Projects at SAGE USA, to discuss LGBT older adults and ageing in the United States. We talk about what makes LGBT older populations particularly vulnerable compared with their non-LGBT counterparts, the specific needs of transgender and bisexual older adults and how LGBT family dynamics and support structures differ from non-LGBT ones. We also touch on ageism, racism and disability issues in the LGBT community and how those might impact on ageing. Finally we look to the future and consider how the experience of Millennial LGBT ageing might be distinct from the experiences of the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers.
In the second episode of our miniseries for LGBT History Month 2018 we turn our attention to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and its artistic legacies. The AIDS outbreak in the 1970s and 1980s is often described as a moment of crisis and since we are arguably living through a moment of crisis in contemporary politics, the AIDS pandemic can be a useful way into thinking about the idea of ‘crisis’ and how art can respond to moments of political crisis. Moreover, if we want to take the idea of LGBT history seriously, we have to acknowledge the significance of HIV/AIDS in this history (although of course LGBT people were not the only ones affected by the disease).
Today on The Provocateur I talk to Theo Gordon, who has just finished his PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, to discuss sex and violence in the art of the American AIDS crisis. We begin by the history of the AIDS pandemic and how the crisis is one of sexuality and aggression, before looking at the invisibility of women with AIDS and the significance of AIDS to cultural theory in the early 1990s. Towards the end of the programme we think about the recent upsurge of interest in the AIDS movement since 2010 and the relationship between siblinghood and AIDS activism/politics.
You can listen to the podcast here:
ACT UP/NY Women & AIDS Book Group (1990) Women, AIDS & Activism, 2nd edn. Boston: South End Press.
Finklestein, A. (2017) After Silence: A History of AIDS Through Its Images. Oakland: University of California Press.
Schulman, S. and J. Hubbard (n.d.) The ACT UP Oral History Project (online).
White, E. (1997) The Farewell Symphony. London: Chatto & Windus.
Skyscrapers are distinctly modern symbols of our urbanized planet. Their verticality represents not only the possibilities of technological progress and the limits of the human imagination, but also the challenges of city inequality. The idea of high-rise living first took hold in the 1880s in Chicago before the skyscraper was exported to New York, spread to the rest of the United States and eventually conquered the entire world. The first skyscraper on the planet is generally considered to be the Home Insurance Building in the Windy City; though, at a mere 11 stories, it would pale in comparison with the Petronas Towers or One World Trade Centre, it marked a turning point in the development of cities. As the experience of Chicago and later New York showed, skyscrapers are an answer to an economic problem of resource allocation: how to fit dozens, even hundreds, of people in a fairly small space. Yet going taller is not a perfect solution: even as they solve the conundrum of how to cope with urban population booms, skyscrapers also pose other problems such as congestion, overcrowding, rising land values and an intolerable cost of living.
This week on The Provocateur we are joined by Jason Barr, professor of economics at Rutgers University (Newark), to explore the economic history of skyscrapers. We begin by discussing skyscrapers as an economic problem, before moving onto talk about the history of the modern Manhattan skyline from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries. We close with a brief discussion of newer players in the skyscraper game such as Dubai, Shanghai and Taipei and speculate on future directions in the evolution of skyscrapers.
You can listen to the podcast here:
Barr, J. (2016) Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s Skyscrapers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Clark. W. J. and J. L. Kingston (1930) The Skyscraper: A Study in the Economic Height of Modern Office Buildings. New York and Cleveland: American Institute of Steel Construction.
Gifford, R. (2007) ‘The Consequences of Living in High-Rise Buildings’, Architectural Science Review 50(1), pp. 2-17.
Glaeser, E. (2011) ‘How Skyscrapers Can Save the City’, The Atlantic, March 2011.
Hsu, J. and C. Chan (2014) ‘The Emergence of Asian Supertalls’, CTBUH Journal IV, pp. 28-33.
Landau, S. B. and C. W. Condit (1996) Rise of the New York Skyscraper: 1865-1913. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Nobel, P. et al. (2015) The Future of the Skyscraper. New York: Distributed Art Publishers.
Parker. D. and A. Wood (eds.) (2013) The Tall Buildings Reference Book. Abingdon and New York: Routledge.
Willis, C. (1995) Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Today’s installment of The Provocateur concludes our month-long Canada 150 miniseries with a trip to Québec. Québécois culture has a strong claim to being the foundation of modern Canadian society, since the first European settlers north of Florida were French explorers in what is now Canadian territory in the 16th and 17th centuries. Jacques Cartier first sighted the St Lawrence River in the 1530s; Samuel de Champlain, ‘The Father of New France’, founded what would become Québec City in 1608. As Québec society moved into the 20th and 21st centuries along with the rest of Canada, it had to engage with the questions of gender and sexuality that all liberal democracies have had to confront in recent decades.
In this episode I talk to Loic Bourdeau, assistant professor of French at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, to discuss gender and sexuality in Québécois literature and film. We first look at milestones in Québécois literary history, from the farm novel to the Quiet Revolution and beyond, before exploring the themes of independence and sovereignty, motherhood and sexuality. We also reflect on the future direction of Québec society and what that might mean for cultural developments.
You can listen to the podcast here:
Baillargeon, Denyse (2011) “Quebec Women of the Twentieth Century: Milestones in an Unfinished Journey”, Quebec Questions. Don Mills: Oxford UP, 2011. 231-247.
Barrette, Jean-Marc (1996) L’univers de Michel Tremblay. Montreal: U of Montreal Press.
Boucher-Marchand, Monique (1997) “Michel Tremblay et l’autobiographie du Nous.” La création biographique. Rennes: U of Rennes.
Bourdeau, Loic (2012) “F.O.L.L.E. société: déconstruction et reconstruction identitaire dans C.R.A.Z.Y.” Nouvelles Etudes Francophones. 27.1: 130-144.
Bourdieu, Pierre (1998) La domination masculine. Paris: Seuil.
Chapman, Rosemary (2013) What is Québécois Literature? Liverpool: Liverpool UP.
Dickinson, Peter (1999) Here is Queer: Nationalisms, Sexualities, and the Literatures of Canada. Toronto: U of Toronto Press.
Eribon, Didier (1999) Réflexions sur la question gay. Paris: Fayard.
Foucault, Michel (1976) Histoire de la sexualité. La volonté de savoir. Paris: Gallimard.
Green, Mary Jean (2011) Women and Narrative Identity. Rewriting the Quebec National Text. London: McGill UP.
Lacoursière, Jacques, Jean Provencher, and Denis Vaugeois (2011) Canada-Québec 1534-2010. Quebec: Septentrion.
Lamoureux, Diane (2011) “The Paradoxes of Quebec Feminism.” Quebec Questions. Don Mills: Oxford UP.
Lévesque, Andrée (1994) Making and Breaking the Rules: Women in Quebec, 1919-1939. Trans. Yvonne M. Klein. Toronto: U of Toronto Press.
Marshall, Bill (2001) Quebec National Cinema. London: McGill UP.
Muñoz, José Esteban (2009) Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York UP.
Richer, Jocelyne (2015) “Le CSF dit craindre un retour au foyer.” Ledevoir.ca. 29 Jan. 2015.
Schwartzwald, Robert (1993) “‘Symbolic’ Homosexuality, ‘False Feminine,’ and the Problematics of Identity in Québec.” Queer Politics and Social Theory. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press.
Today we continue our Canada 150 miniseries with a look at perhaps the most significant piece of Canadian legislation since Confederation: the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section two of the Charter lists what are called the “fundamental freedoms,” including for example freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of expression and – importantly for our purposes – freedom of conscience. Many constitutional disputes in Canadian jurisprudence have tested the limits of freedom of religion. But as Canada becomes more and more secularized, the focus may well shift to freedom of conscience, which would thereby rise to greater prominence in Canadian politics.
In this installment of The Provocateur I talk to Brian Bird, a DCL student in the Faculty of Law at McGill University, to explore the history and theory of freedom of conscience, which he dubs “the forgotten freedom.” We discuss what freedom of conscience is and how it can be distinguished from freedom of religion; the nature of freedom of conscience before and after the Charter came into effect; the limits of freedom of conscience; and the future of “the forgotten freedom” in Canadian society.
You can listen to the podcast here:
Brownlee, K. (2012) Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Waldron, M. A. (2013) Free to Believe: Rethinking Conscience and Freedom of Religion inCanada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Vischer, R. K. (2010) Conscience and the Common Good: Reclaiming the Space Between Person and State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
We continue our month-long Canadian miniseries, in honour of Canada 150, with a critical assessment of one of the most important dynamics in the country’s history: the relationship between the indigenous and European peoples of present-day Canada, which remains a source of ongoing injustices. Though orthodox Canadian history might stress the nation’s relative youth – being traditionally created in 1867 – the story of Canada arguably begins centuries before, when humans first migrated into North America. Contact with European explorers in the 18th and 19th centuries led almost inevitably to interbreeding between indigenous and European people, which in turn resulted in the category of “Métis”. Yet the apparent simplicity of its definition belies a host of anxieties around race, assimilation, integration and Canadian identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as Canada engaged in a process of nation-building.
On today’s episode of The Provocateur we are joined by Jennifer Hayter, who is currently completing a PhD in History at the University of Toronto, to discuss the history of the relationship between the Métis and the Canadian state. We cover the origins of the term “Métis” as a category; the rise of Métis nationalism in the late 19th century (especially the role of Louis Riel); the significance of the Métis in Manitoba and British Columbia; and the continuing ramifications for Métis politics today.
This episode of The Provocateur kicks off a special month-long miniseries to coincide with Canada 150: a series of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation. While it is frequently derided as the backyard of the United States, Canada possesses a rich, complex and colourful history; today it is rightly celebrated as an outward-looking and multicultural nation. Yet its spirit of progressive pluralism belies the stinging legacies of both indigenous dispossession and the oppression of racial and ethnic minorities. Some of the darkest episodes of Canada’s recent past can be found in the Chinese Exclusion Act, as well as Japanese internment during WWII. Though Canada sought to establish itself as a humanitarian power in the postwar period, it continues to be haunted by the injustices of history.
To discuss the history of humanitarianism and immigration in Canada, The Provocateur is joined today by Laura Madokoro, who is assistant professor in the department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. We explore the history of anti-Chinese and anti-Japanese sentiment in nineteenth and early twentieth century Canada, the relationship between humanitarianism and settler colonialism, the significance of the Indochinese refugee crisis for Canadian foreign policy and the amazing story of the first official refugees from China to Canada in 1962. Finally we bring our discussion up to the contemporary moment, with the provocative question of whether Islamophobia is the new yellow peril.
You can listen to the podcast here:
Correction: The episode is mentioned as being the second in the Canada 150 miniseries, as it was still scheduled as such at the time of recording. However due to unforeseen circumstances, it will now be broadcast as the first episode. Apologies for the oversight.
Gatrell, P. (2013) The Making of the Modern Refugee. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Madokoro, L., F. McKenzie and D. Meren (eds.) (2017) Dominion of Race: Rethinking Canada’s International History. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Mar, L. (2010) Brokering Belonging: Chinese in Canada’s Exclusion Era, 1885-1945. New York: Oxford University Press.
Roy, P. (2010) The Triumph of Citizenship: The Japanese and Chinese in Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Yu, H. (2015) ‘Conceptualizing a Pacific Canada Within and Without Nations’, in Dubinsky, K. et al. (eds.) Within and Without the Nation: Canada’s History as Transnational History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.