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Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay & Lesbian Studies

Critical Gender Studies hosts the annual Nicholas Papadopoulos Lecture in Gay & Lesbian Studies. This endowed fund was left to UCSD and Harvard by the family of alumnus, Nicholas Papadapoulos, who died of complications from AIDS in the 1990s. Through the generosity of the Papadopoulos family, this lecture has brought major figures in the broad field of Gay & Lesbian studies to campus. See the list below for more information on upcoming events.


December 1, 2023

Critical Gender Studies presents the 2023 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Queer and Trans Youth, Digital Tagging, and the Infrapolitics of Survival with Dr. Cindy Cruz


December 1st, 2023 at 6 pm PST at PEB 721 


Cindy Cruz is an associate professor in the Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies Department in the College of Education at the University of Arizona. Her research centers on homeless queer and trans*youth narratives in Los Angeles, California, and her theoretical foundations center on the work of U.S. feminists of color and Latinx and decolonial feminist theory. In a previous life, she was a high school English teacher and HIV counselor, and this experience greatly influences her research and pedagogy. Her current projects include gentrification, mobility, surveillance, and the use of geospatial applications amongst homeless youth.   

Thinking with the FemTechNet Collective (2018) about mobile/digital practices as mappings across the hemisphere, Cruz finds that queer and trans homeless youth are not only developing practices of digital improvisation to leverage their own basic needs of food, shelter, and basic health care needs but are also using mobile technologies as archives of movement and relation in both digital and real-time spaces.




May 19 & 23, 2022

CGS presents the 2022 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Telling Our Stories: Representation and Practice in Black and Queer Community Filmmaking

Short Film Festival

Thursday, May 19 from 7pm-9pm at the MOM's Cafe in Muir College  

<<Click this link to RSVP for the film fest>> 

Filmmakers Webinar Panel

Monday, May 23 from 5pm-6:15pm (PST)

<<Click this link to register for the webinar>> 

This year we are featuring a roundtable conversation between filmmakers Zeinabu irene Davis, Michelle Parkerson, and members of the New Negress Film Collective Yvonne Michelle Shirley, Stefani Saintonge, and Chanelle Aponte Pearson on Monday, May 23rd, 2022 from 5pm-6:15pm (PST) over Zoom Webinar. Live Closed Captioning will be available.

The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Kianna Middleton (UCSD Ethnic Studies) and Alexis Hithe, MFA (UCSD Visual Arts). Topics might include the historical continuation of cultural expression and community building through community filmmaking practices; what a history of Black filmmaking practice means to filmmakers seeking to participate in a lineage while reshaping cultural tools for contemporary queer struggles; and how does working with younger generations inform the ever changing practices of established filmmakers?  

Filmmaking as a cultural practice also includes the shared viewing of films as a practice for strengthening cultural identities and community bonds. To celebrate the incredible work of our participants, we will also be hosting a one night Short Film Festival with selections from each of our panelists on Thursday, May 19th from 7pm-9pm at MOM's Cafe in Muir College. Movie snacks will be provided. 

This event is co-sponsored by: UCSD’s Critical Gender Studies Program, the Black Studies Project, the Ethnic Studies Department, Muir College, MOM's Cafe, LGBTQIA+LLC and the Visual Arts Department.


CGS presents the 2021 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring Sam Feder, Alexandra Grey, Tiq Milan, and Tre’vell Anderson from DISCLOSURE

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021
5:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom Webinar 

Live Closed Captioning and ASL Interpretation will be available.

Click here to REGISTER for the MAY 12th webinar.


This year's first Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay & Lesbian Studies event will highlight the documentary, DISCLOSURE, which examines the portrayal of transgender and gender non-conforming people in television and film through the experiences of trans and gender non-conforming people who grew up watching this media. The film was released last year shortly after the murder of George Floyd by the police, and its reception and interventions have particularly examined, among trans lives generally, how Black trans lives are portrayed in media and the intersections of racism and sexism. Film director, Sam Feder, and three of the people whose interviews structure the film: actress and musician Alexandra Grey; former LA Times journalist Tre’vell Anderson and journalist and current national spokesperson for GLAAD Tiq Milan will be present to share their experiences making this groundbreaking documentary.

Interested in watching DISCLOSURE before the main webinar event on Wednesday, May 12th? Join us for a DISCLOSURE Watch Party on Wednesday, May 5th from 5-7pm via Zoom.

May 2021, ArtPower

CGS presents the 2021 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies in collaboration with UCSD's ArtPower

Featuring Omari Wiles of Les Ballet Afrik

Virtual residency and events spanning May 17th to May 21st



The second Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture is a collaboration with UCSD’s ArtPower. It will be a virtual residency in May with Omari Wiles of Les Ballet Afrik. Omari is a dancer, choreographer, father of the vogue House of Oricci, and was recently featured in the HBO series Legendary, a voguing reality competition series exploring the world of contemporary ball culture. The public events currently being planned as part of Omari’s residency include: a panel discussion about diversity – racial, gendered, and along the lines of sexual orientation – in dance and dance companies; a master class on voguing and African fusion taught by Omari for dance and non-dance majors; a panel discussion on trans visibility in the dance community and trans bodies in the dance world; an event spotlighting the music and DJs of Les Ballet Afrik, with discussion of how music can blend boundaries of race, gender, and sexual orientation, potentially followed by a virtual dance party; and a performance by the company. See below for details on the planned May events and links to purchase tickets through ArtPower.

May 17 (4:00-5:50pm PST): Afrik Fusion Master Class
Join us for a master class taught by Les Ballet Afrik founder and director Omari Wiles which will explore West African and Vogue dance techniques.  

May 18 (4:30-6pm PST): Jazz Master Class
Join us for a master class taught by Les Ballet Afrik Assistant Artistic Director Kamaron Saunders which will explore intermediate jazz dance technique and related dance styles.

May 19 (7-8pm PST): Introducing Les Ballet Afrik
Learn about Les Ballet Afrik, through its performances, vision, and company members. Following an introduction to the company there will be a panel discussion on trans visibility and diversity in dance with members of Les Ballet Afrik, moderated by (TBD), closing with a live Q&A with the audience. 

May 20 (7-8pm PST): Music, Mixing, & Genre Blending
Les Ballet Afrik Music Curator, DJ UFOH, will lead this workshop demonstrating the process of blending different genres of music to find the perfect balance of styles represented in the company (i.e. how he blends vogue beats with traditional African music). Get an inside look at how Les Ballet Afrik’s unique sound is created. Following the workshop there will be a virtual dance session with company members and a live DJ set by DJ UFOH for the audience to get moving as well!

May 21 (7-8pm PST): Quarantingz
Join us for this special event comprised of both live and recorded performance by members of Les Ballet Afrik from their remote locations, narrated by Omari Wiles. Quarantingz by Les Ballet Afrik, directed by Omari Wiles, edited by Jason Lai, will take you on a movement journey conceptualized during our time in quarantine.


March 2019

CGS, BSP, and the Global Forum at I-House proudly present the 2019 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring Andrea Ritchie

LGBTQ+ Activism in the Time of Trump

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019
5:00pm-7:00pm Lecture
Reception to follow.
Great Hall – I-House, ERC, UCSD

Andrea Ritchie is a Black lesbian immigrant and police misconduct attorney and organizer who has engaged in extensive research, writing, and advocacy around criminalization of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color over the past two decades. She recently published Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color now available from Beacon Press.

Click here for event flyer.


April 2017

CGS and the Global Forum at I-House proudly present the 2017 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring SOLHOT, We Levitate

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 
10am-11:30am, Workshop
"Black Feminist Genealogies: The Making of SOLHOT-Lex"
Women's Center – Conference Room

1:00pm-3:00pm, Performance & Panel
"The Asylum: Alternative Sonic Registers of Black Girlhood"
Reception to follow.
Great Hall – I-House, ERC, UCSD

We Levitate is a band made up not of musicians but scholars who met through the work of Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths (SOLHOT), a praxis of Black girlhood celebration. We Levitate is unapologetic in their use of “doing digital wrongly” to reimagine the collective, resound complex Black girlhood, remember relationships, reclaim the dirty work, and reverberate love for self, each other, and every kind of Black girl everywhere. Entangled in collective dreams of Black girlhood, we are free together; a reverb of loud, extra, Black girl genius.

April 2016

CGS and the Global Forum at I-House proudly present the 2016 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring Haneen Maikey, Co-founder and Executive Director of alQaws

Queer Organizing in Palestine Today

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
6:00pm-8:00pm Lecture
Reception to follow.
Great Hall – I-House, ERC, UCSD

Haneen Maikey is a Palestinian queer community organizer, co-founder and the executive director of the national Palestinian LGBTQ organization "alQaws for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society." This lecture shares the grassroots experience of alQaws– the national LGBTQ Palestinian organization--to frame a discussion on how to challenge oppressive systems and offer creative strategies for leading real change in how Palestinian society perceives sexual and gender diversity issues. 

April 2015

2015 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring Giovanna Chesler, blair dorosh-walther and the NJ4 (Venice Brown, Terrain Dandridge, Patreese Johnson, & Renata Hill)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
6:00pm-8:00pm Film screening and Q&A
Reception to follow.
Great Hall - ERC, UCSD

Screening of the award-winning OUT IN THE NIGHT, a feature documentary by blair dorosh–walther that tells the story of four African American lesbians from Newark NJ, who became criminals after they defended themselves against a homophobic street attack in 2006 in the West Village of NYC.

A conversation with the filmmakers and the four women featured in this film – who became known as the NJ4 – will follow the screening.

April 2014

2014 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring Zanele Muholi, South African Photographer & Visual Activist

Focus on South African BLACK QUEER BORN FREES featured in Faces and Phases

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
6:00pm-8:00pm Lecture
Reception to follow.
Calit2 Auditorium - Atkinson Hall, UCSD

A lecture series exploring the visual culture of black LGBTI youth from various South African townships. The visual activism approach will be used to understand realities of black queers born at the end of apartheid in SA focusing mainly on visual expression of the Black Queer Born Frees. The new generation born in the post-apartheid SA is also known as 'Mandela’s step great-grandchildren.’  The lecture will emphasize how the activist negotiated the production space/s interacting with those born from 1990 to 1994.

January 2013

2013 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring E. Patrick Johnson from Northwestern University

Tea Time: Performance and the Making of Southern Black Gay History

Monday, January 28th, 2013
6:00pm-8:00pm Performance and Lecture
Reception to follow.
Calit2 Auditorium - Atkinson Hall, UCSD

E. Patrick Johnson is the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar, artist, and activist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the area of race, gender, sexuality and performance. He has written two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity (Duke UP, 2003), and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South— An Oral History (University of North Carolina UP, 2008).

May 2012

2012 Nicholas Papadopoulos Endowed Lecture in Gay and Lesbian Studies

Featuring Kim Yutani & Aurora Guerrero

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
6:30pm-8:00pm Discussion and Lecture
Reception to follow.
Calit2 Auditorium - Atkinson Hall, UCSD

A conversation on filmmaking and activism, intersectionality, queer storytelling, and women of color in the media with special guests Kim Yutani and Aurora Guerrero. Kim Yutani is a Programmer at the Sundance Film Festival as well as Director of Programming of Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and the LA queer of color film festival, Fusion. Aurora Guerrero is the writer and director of the award-winning feature Mosquita y Mari (2012), a coming of age story set in Huntington Park, LA, and of a number of short films, including Pura Lengua and Viernes Girl.