NYU Fales Library Presents “Memories of the Revolution: Locating Lesbian Culture in the Age of Queer,” a Panel Discussion, March 2nd @6:30PM


The panel, composed of WOW alumnae in dialogue led by theater historian and critic Alisa Solomon and performance studies scholar Ann Pellegrini, will address the impact of feminist and lesbian voices on the downtown New York culture of the 80s and 90s, and discuss the legacy of WOW for current generations. Karen Finley will introduce the event, and Jessica DelVecchio will open it by performing songs from the period.

nyu-fales-library-presents-memories-of-the-revolution-locating-lesbian-culture-in-the-age-of-queer-a-panel-discussion-march-2nd-630pm
Photo credit: Dona Ann McAdams.

New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections presents a panel discussion, “Memories of the Revolution: Locating Lesbian Culture in the Age of Queer,” in conjunction with the publication of a new anthology of scripts, monologues, photos, and interviews from the first decade of the WOW (Women’s One World) Café, entitled: Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the WOW Café Theater (U of MI Press).

The discussion, co-sponsored by NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Department of Art & Public Policy and Department of Performance Studies, and Tisch Institute of Performing Arts takes place on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at 6:30pm in Bobst Library, Third Floor, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.]. In the Department of Art & Public Policy, artists, cultural workers, activists, scholars, and community builders examine the political implications and social significance of their work, and the work of other practitioners historically and today.

The public may RSVP to: rsvp.bobst@nyu.edu with your name and title/date of the event. For more information the public may call Elizabeth Wiest, 212 992 9744 or email liz.wiest@nyu.edu. Reception to follow.

The panel, composed of WOW alumnae in dialogue led by theater historian and critic Alisa Solomon and performance studies scholar Ann Pellegrini, will address the impact of feminist and lesbian voices on the downtown New York culture of the 80s and 90s, and discuss the legacy of WOW for current generations. Karen Finley will introduce the event, and Jessica DelVecchio will open it by performing songs from the period.

“WOW has been a vital part of New York City’s downtown theater and performance since 1982,” said Fales Senior Archivist Lisa Darms. Holly Hughes, WOW veteran and co-author of Memories of the Revolution, says “From its founding, WOW’s in your face, no holds barred aesthetic embraced frankly erotic work and largely pre-dated the emergence of queer theory. WOW has been a self-declared ‘Home for Wayward Girls,’ a venue for feminist, lesbian and, more recently, trans-performers to create, perform and foment an alternative cultural expression.”

Some of its renowned alumnae include Tony Award-winning playwright and performer Lisa Kron, acclaimed theater companies like Split Britches and The Five Lesbian Brothers, and interdisciplinary artist Carmelita Tropicana. WOW also presented feminist and lesbian artists such as acclaimed poet and critic Eileen Myles, and the groundbreaking Flamboyant Ladies Company.

Participants include:

Alexis DeVeaux is co-founder of the Center for Poetic Healing and Flamboyant Ladies Theater Company;
Jessica Del Vecchio is a doctoral candidate in the Theater Department at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, where she is completing her dissertation on the recent resurgence of explicitly queer and feminist performance in New York City’s experimental theater scene;

Karen Finley is the Host for this event. A New York based performance artist, Finley teaches in the Art and Public Policy Program at NYU. Her books include Shock Treatment (City Lights 1990 and 2015) and The Reality Shows (2011);

Gwendolen Hardwick, an educator, writer, performer and educational theater specialist, is currently Artistic and Education Director for CUNY Creative Arts Team;

Holly Hughes is a writer and performer who launched her thespian career at the WOW Café; she is the co-author (Carmelita Tropicana and Jill Dolan) of Memories of the Revolution: The First Ten Years of the WOW Café Theater;

Lisa Kron, a WOW Café veteran, a proud member of the Five Lesbian Brothers, and most recently, writing the book and lyrics for the musical Fun Home;

Eileen Myles, poet and writer who has produced more than twenty volumes of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, libretti, plays, and performance pieces over the last three decades;

Ann Pellegrini is a professor of Performance Studies & Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU, where she also directs the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Her books include Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race and Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance (co-authored with Janet Jakobsen);

Carmelita Tropicana is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and performer;

Alisa Solomon, a professor at the Columbia Journalism School, is a longtime reporter, critic, and dramaturg, whose latest book is Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof;


About Fales Library and Special Collections:
The Fales Library, comprising nearly 358,000 volumes and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Marion Nestle Food Studies Collection, and the general special collections of NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection, founded in 1994, documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video. The goal of the Downtown Collection is to comprehensively collect the full range of artistic practices and output of the Downtown scene, regardless of format. This research collection, built on a documentary strategy, supports the research of students and scholars interested in the intersection of the contemporary arts and other forms of cultural and artistic expression.

The NYU Division of Libraries holds over 4 million volumes and comprises five libraries in Manhattan and one each in Brooklyn, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.  Its flagship, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on Washington Square, receives 2.6 million visits annually. Around the world the Libraries offers access to more than 1.2 million electronic journals, books, and databases. For more information about NYU Libraries, please visit http://library.nyu.edu

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