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Lecture: Jack Halberstam, “An Aesthetics of Collapse”

keynote lecture for the exhibit The Nature of Waste: Material Pathways, Discarded Worlds

Date: Time: 5:30 pm–7:00 pm
Sheldon Museum of Art Room: Ethel S. Abbott Auditorium
Additional Info: SHEL
Contact: Katie Anania,
Alvin Baltrop, an African American photographer, has been celebrated for his images of gay men cruising on New York City’s West Side Piers in the 1980s. But Baltrop left an archive that, when examined closely, actually offers an aesthetics of collapse. Baltrop’s gorgeous imagery of collapse orients us away from queer bodies—vehicles for current configurations of desire, location software, and capital—and towards abstract forms of the erotic.

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books, most recently WILD THINGS: THE DISORDER OF DESIRE. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment.

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