he IRN continued to make major strides over the lastsix months by organizing two region-based meetings(Caribbean and Africa), cosponsoring CLAGS-IRNSeminars in the City (see separate article: IRNPresents Seminars in the City in this section ), and makingprogress on launching a revamped website that will debutour brand new logo!In June, 2009
, IRN Regional Coordinator(Caribbean), along with
organized a ve hour long workshop at the AnnualConference of the Caribbean Studies Association in Kingston,Jamaica. The workshop was attended by about 30 participantsincluding
, CLAGS board member. For fullaccount of the workshop please see our online version at
. IRN Africa also organized a major conference attended byAfrica scholars and activists in Syracuse, New York. Formore details please read “IRN Africa Conference” in thissection.As part of our outreach activities, our regional coordinatorsspare no effort to spread the word.
, RegionalCoordinator Latin America, was recently interviewed on a TVshow, “La Belleza es Mia” in the Dominican Republic hostedby transsexual celebrity,
. Blessing used her 40minute interview as an opportunity to explain the goals andobjectives of IRN. She nominated Mia as the IRN ambassadorof the LGBT community in Latin America and presented heran “ambassadorial” sash, which Mia wore proudly displayingthese words to the viewers of this live broadcast to severalcountries: “
International Resource Network Ambassador/Aglobal network of researchers and teachers sharing knowledge about sexualities
.”All of us at the IRN are delighted about the launch of ourradically revamped website. The new site will offer featuressuch as the enabling of RSS (Really Simple Syndication)feeds, a more user-friendly platform and CMS (ContentManagement System), and a better integration with socialnetworks including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Also, wehave added Russian to the currently available site languagesof English, Spanish, French, and Simplied Chinese. We’ll beannouncing the relaunch via the CLAGS website and emaillists, so stay tuned!Scholars, students, artists, activists, members of the LGBTcommunity anywhere across the globe—we invite you to join us in our efforts to become a truly effective network andinformational resource by visiting our site (
CLAGSnews | Spring 20108
Iteratioal Resource network (IRn) news
By Naveed Alam
Iteratioal Resource network (IRn) presets Seiars i the City
By Naveed Alam
Jasmin Blessing, Regional Coordinator Latin America, on“La Belleza es Mia” withtranssexual celebrity host Mia Cepede.
ne of the major achievementsof the IRN this year was ourcollaboration with CLAGS’songoing Seminars in theCity series.The Seminars in the City series is partof CLAGS’s mission to make scholarlyresearch in Queer Studies accessibleto the general public. The seminars,held at the LGBT Center, have beentraditionally supported by a generousgrant from the New York Council forthe Humanities; however, when welearned that funding would not beavailable this year, we decided to stepin and co-sponsor the series focusingon sexuality and human rights aroundthe world. The series titled
Axes of Desire: Gender, Sexuality and HumanRights
gave us the opportunity topromote our dual objectives: showcasecurrent research on the topic aswell as provide a public forum toconnect scholars, activists, and LBTQcommunity beyond the academy.“Reframing Queer Sexualities in theMiddle East,” the inaugural seminarof the fall 2009 Seminars in the CitySeries, was held on September 14.
, session facilitatorand a member of the IRN Middle Eastregional editorial board, started thediscussion by summarizing the currentdebate over constructionist versusessentialist views of homosexuality