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Radical Desire
Making On Our Backs Magazine


Radical Desire Gallery Talks with Susie Bright

Abandon any tired stereotypes of dusty archives and stuffy gallery talks! Susie Bright, one of the driving forces behind the ground-breaking and successful lesbian sex magazine On Our Backs, will be leading explorations of the themes of the exhibition in Cornell Library's Hirshland Gallery, "Radical Desire: Making On Our Backs Magazine."

5/13/2022 - Lesbian Butch Femme Erotica at the Turn of the 21st Century

5/20/2022 - Honey Lee Cottrell and the Psycho Sexual Lesbian Urban Subway Map

5/27/2022 - Lesbian Cover Girls: the Making of the On Our Backs Cover Model

6/3/2022 - The Models of On Our Backs: The Pioneers of Lesbian Erotic Visibility

Radical Desire Symposium

Celebrating the Library’s exhibition “Radical Desire: Making On Our Backs Magazine”and the 30th and 50th anniversaries of Cornell’s LGBT Studies and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies programs.

The Feminist Sex Wars: A Retrospective by Gayle Rubin

Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Kroch Library, 2B48 and Hirshland Gallery

Video of this event:
The Feminist Sex Wars: A Retrospective by Gayle Rubin

Gayle S. Rubin is a pioneering theorist and activist in feminist, LGBT, queer, and sexuality studies who has been shaping the scholarly discourse about the politics of sex for five decades. In a lecture, she will explore the 1980s feminist sex wars in which On Our Backs played a catalytic and transformative role. After the lecture and discussion, there will be an opportunity to explore the exhibition. Rubin’s signed portrait by Honey Lee Cottrell is in the gallery.

Making a Lesbian Sex Magazine in the Age of Feminist Sex Wars

Thursday, April 28, 2022, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall

Video of this event:
Making a Lesbian Sex Magazine in the Age of Feminist Sex Wars

Panelists: Lulu Belliveau, Susie Bright, Phyllis Christopher, Morgan Gwenwald, Nan Kinney, Jill Posener, Deborah Sundahl, Jessica Tanzer. Moderator, Gayle Rubin.

An amazing panel of On Our Backs founders, photographers, and photo editors will discuss why photography was crucial to the magazine’s success and generated the biggest criticisms. Why was the portrayal of women as they wanted to be portrayed radical? What were the driving forces behind making On Our Backs? Why was it controversial among feminists? What does the magazine mean to its makers now?

Related Events at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

Berenice Abbott: Portraits of Women, 1925–1930 - Exhibition open through July 31, 2022

Gallery Talk: Berenice Abbott with Susie Bright - Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 4:00pm to 5:00pm