The impetus for this conference was the controversy that emerged from Northampton writer Barry Werth's award-winning The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin, A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal (Doubleday 2001). Werth, with what Martin Duberman called "spellbinding skill," told the story of the vice squad's entry into Arvin's apartment on Prospect Street in September 1960 and confiscation of mildly homoerotic material. In the wake of the nationally-publicized scandal, Smith College persuaded Arvin to retire (he died in 1963) and terminated the employment at the college of two junior, gay professors, Joel Dorius and Ned Spofford. In the academic year 2001-02, professors, administrators, and trustees at Smith grappled with what had happened forty years ago. One of the outcomes of the campus-wide debates was a decision to hold this major conference. Participants will consider civil liberties, repression and citizenship in the 1950s as well as what can we learn from these events that might help us see and understand our own cultural and political climate in 2003.
The co-chairs of the conference are Dan Horowitz, professor of American Studies and Marilyn Schuster, professor of Women’s Studies. Additional support provided by Jayne Mercier, administrative assistant in Interdisciplinary Studies.
LINKS OF INTEREST
2002 Smith College // Page maintained by Interdisciplinary
Studies at Smith College
Smith College, Seelye Hall 207b, Northampton, MA 01063
Jayne Mercier, Administrative Assistant
ph: 413-585-3390; fax: 413-585-3393
Please send comments to: Jayne Mercier // Notice of Nondiscrimination // Last update: February 03, 2003