Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

"Homeland Insecurities" -- civil liberties conference at Smith

My cheap-ass vegetarian cooking interterm class is 3:15-5:15, so i think i am going to skip on Thursday and Friday to attend some of the conference events.

Here’s what i want to attend. (Blech, stealing sourcecode when something is a table is almost more trouble than it's worth, especially when they throw in all this code that serves no purpose.)

Thursday, January 23, 2003

4:30-6:00 pm Newton Arvin’s Scholarly Legacy

7:30 pm  Naming Names

Friday, January 24, 2003

2:00-4:00 pm The Chilling Effect of the Cold War: The Limits of Resistance

4:30-5:30 pm “Opening Closet Doors,” a video statement by Joel Dorius

Saturday, January 25, 2003

10:00 am-noon Popular Culture: Projecting Insecurities
2:00-4:00 pm The Cops at the Door: Surveillance, Repression and Resistance
4:30-5:30 Final comments

[the following took place after this post]

From: Elizabeth [surname]
To: Gary Lehring
Date: Tuesday - December 31, 2002 11:46 AM
Subject: Newton Arvin, et al


In Queer Studies last spring you mentioned the Newton Arvin scandal. I recently read Barry Werth's book The Scarlet Professor, and you definitely did a good job of boiling down the story to its essential parts. I was surprised by some of what I read about what happened to the three men after the scandal, though. Perhaps I'm just misremembering what you said, but I remembered that the lives of the three men were wholly ruined. Newton was actually doing very well psychologically at the time of his death from diabetes, and the two young teachers successfully found jobs elsewhere. I'm also a bit confused as to why Smith as an institution should offer an apology. Newton seemed almost grateful for the resignation, and it seemed like Mendenhall was open to the possibility of keeping him own. As for Dorius and Spofford, they had the support of the faculty as well as the president but the trustees overruled it all.

~Elizabeth [surname]

From: Gary Lehring
To: Elizabeth [surname]
Date: Friday - January 3, 2003 2:36 PM
Subject: Re: Newton Arvin, et al

Barry’s book while good, misses much of the politics involved during
this period. He misses making the bigger links to the mccarthy period
etc, which would have made for a much more sophisticated analysis.

As for Newton arvin... he was in and out of the mental hospital as a
result of this,a nd the two younger men NEVER founf full employment.
They both have squeaked out an exsitence bouncing form institution to
institution and did not have half teh benefits theyw oudl ahve had had
they been able to stay at Smith. Yes thyeir departments and the faculty
supported them, but the bd of trustees have the final word and they
fired them for being gay. You think that doesn’t merit an apaology. If
the same thingw ere to happen today SMithw oudl be sued for millions of
dollars. An apology seems like very little in comparison to what was
done to them.

Gary L. Lehring
Department of Government
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

From: Elizabeth [surname]
To: Gary Lehring
Date: Saturday - January 4, 2003 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: Newton Arvin, et al

I thought Barry's book did an adequate job of connecting the situation with the Smith professors with the greater atmosphere of the country -- the wake of McCarthyism as well as the general anti-homosexual atmosphere.

Newton had been in and out of mental hospitals for much of his adult life, and it seemed to me that he actually recovered from the loss of his job quite well.

I was hoping for a bit more information from Barry about Ned and Joel, but in his epilogue he states that Joel taught at San Francisco State College until his retirement. Yes, it's certainly not a Smith-caliber school, but it is a steady job. Ned's case is a bit more difficult because he suffered a number of breakdowns and doesn't seem to have been able to do much teaching. But that is as a result of the situation as a whole, and Smith holds little of the blame for that. Should the police department also offer them an apology because they, under the influence of the times, are the most and the most directly responsible for all that happened.
Tags: smith: homeland insecurities conference

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