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UIS to host presentation on choices for LGBT students

April 11, 2008

Contact: Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, 217/206-8307, mthom1@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD — Theatre historian and author Dr. Robert A. Schanke will speak on "Passing and Covering: Good Choices for LGBT Students?" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in Brookens Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Brookens Auditorium is located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. A question-and-answer/discussion session and a reception will follow; the entire event is free and open to the public.

Photo of Robert Schanke
Dr. Robert Schanke

UIS sponsors are the ECCE Speaker Series, UIS Theatre, and Diversity Task Force.

"The issues of passing and/or covering are very, very pertinent and have been used in writing about the recent murder of Lawrence King," Schanke noted. "Everyone knew he was gay, but some people were bothered and violently opposed to his wearing high heel shoes and earrings to school. He refused to cover!" (On February 12 of this year, 15-year-old King was shot and killed by a fellow student at their junior high school in Oxnard, California, reportedly because he was openly gay and sometimes dressed in a "feminine" manner.)

Schanke is professor emeritus of Theatre at Central College, Pella, Iowa. His numerous books include "That Furious Lesbian": The Story of Mercedes de Acosta, which was named ForeWord magazine's 2003 Book of the Year in the gay and lesbian nonfiction category. Schanke and co-editor Kim Marra have produced three books, most recently The Gay and Lesbian Theatrical Legacy (2005).  He has also directed theatre productions in Great Britain and Mexico.

Programs in the ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) Speakers Series are campus-sponsored lectures by speakers who exemplify engaged citizenship. More information about ECCE is available from Kimberly Craig at 206-6245.

For more information about Dr. Schanke's appearance at UIS, contact Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, assistant professor of Theatre, at 206-8307 or mthom1@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelor's, 20 master's, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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