Beyond Warhol, Smith and Anger

The Significance of Postwar Queer Underground Cinema, 1950-1968

April 7, 2006 - April 8, 2006, Daily, 12:00am - 12:00am
Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising (1963), Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures (1963), and Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls (1966) are widely regarded as some of the most important and influential films of postwar underground cinema. But cinema studies has only recently begun to take seriously the fact that Anger, Smith, and Warhol were gay filmmakers whose films developed a queer aesthetic to explore questions of queer subjectivity and world-making. At this conference we aim to map the contours and assess the significance of this wider cultural formation, which largely developed in the 1950s and 60s in the ferment of New York's East Village, the scene of complex interactions, collaborations, and conflicts between mostly gay or bisexual male filmmakers and mostly heterosexual but resolutely anti-heteronormative female filmmakers and between white and Puerto Rican bohemian, queer, and street cultures. Symposium participants: Stephen Bottoms (Leeds), George Chauncey (Chicago), Leanne Gilbertson (Rochester), Ron Gregg (Chicago), Tom Gunning (Chicago), Lauren Rabinovitz (Iowa), B. Ruby Rich (UC-Santa Cruz), Marc Siegel (Free University, Berlin/UCLA), Juan Suárez (Murcia, Spain), and Tom Waugh (Concordia).
Co-sponsored by University of Chicago Lesbian and Gay Studies Project in cooperation with the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies and Experimental Film Club.