Liberal professor to speak on rhetoric, gay rights

Ashanka Kumari

One of the most dangerous 101 professors in the United States will be speaking in Lloyd Hall Room 132 Monday, March 4 at 6 p.m.

Dana Cloud, associate professor and director of graduate studies the University of Texas at Austin, will give a talk entitled “Pushing the Boundaries of Liberalism: Revolutionary in the Rhetoric of GetEQUAL.”

Collyn Warner, a graduate teaching assistant for the UA composition, rhetoric and English studies program in the English department, said Cloud was recently named “One of the Most Dangerous 101 Professors in the United States” by right-wing pundit David Horowitz, encouraging her to do more work on academic freedom.

Cloud said she will argue that social movement organizations like GetEQUAL have ben instrumental in changing public opinion with regard to LGBTQ rights.

“GetEQUAL’s rhetoric displays an intriguing relationship to the ideal of equality,” Cloud said. “In mainstream civil rights rhetoric, equality is a fairly conservative demand for inclusion in the system as it already exists, but in GetEQUAL and similar organizations, that demand is re-framed as substantive equality.”

Warner said Cloud is a moving researcher, activist and speaker.

“Her research focuses on academic freedom, rhetoric and social movements, gender and communication, race and gender in mass media, unions and historical materialist theory,” he said.

Warner said the CRES program works to bring a guest speaker to the Capstone each spring.

“It is part of a wonderful opportunity to expand our horizons for our own work, to build greater academic community and it provides us an opportunity to give back to the UA and Tuscaloosa communities at large,” Warner said. “I am extremely excited to bring Dr. Cloud to campus, because she does incredible work to bring voice to issues that marginalized populations face.”

Amy Dayton, an associate professor of English in the CRES program, said the graduate students who planned this event choose someone whose work is compelling to them, invite their chosen speaker and coordinate the visit.

“Dr. Cloud’s work focuses on public activism and LGBTQ rights, a topic that is timely and important to our students,” Dayton said.

Along with Monday night’s talk, Cloud will also meet with LGBTQ and Ally students, faculty, staff and community members 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, March 5 in Morgan Hall Room 301.

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