In this talk Professor Ferguson engages the history of black queer diasporic formations in the 1970s as part of radical attempts to reimagine and eroticize socialist imaginations. The talk situates these formations within a social and political context in which various modes of difference were being mobilized to illustrate and expand the symbolic flexibility and the "writerly" potentials of socialism - particularly by the politically imaginative work of the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords, the Chicago Women's Liberation Union, the 1978 Socialist-Feminist Conference, the radical queer activist group Gay Liberation Front, and others. The talk uses these formations as the context for arguing that this decade of socialist experimentation was one in which black queer activists and artists were central. More directly, those activists and artists were part of various projects to revise socialism in accordance with an interest in politicizing homoerotic desires and eroticizing anti-racist and socialist visions.
This lecture was recorded on December 3, 2013 at Barnard College in New York City.