Today: McKeldin CLOSED

Speaking of Books series presents anthropologist Judith Hanna

Posted: Mar 07, 2013

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A Conversation with Judith Hanna

Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 4:30 - 6:00 PM

McKeldin Library, Special Events Room (Room 6137)


Join us for a discussion with Judith Hanna, Affiliate Senior Research Scientist of the Department of Anthropology and author of Naked Truth: Strip Clubs, Democracy, and a Christian Right.

Across America, strip clubs have come under attack by a politically aggressive segment of the Christian Right. Using plausible-sounding but factually untrue arguments about the harmful effects of strip clubs on their communities, the Christian Right has stoked public outrage and incited local and state governments to impose onerous restrictions on the clubs with the intent of dismantling the exotic dance industry. But an even larger agenda is at work, according to Judith Hanna. In Naked Truth, she builds a convincing case that the attack on exotic dance is part of the activist Christian Right’s “grand design” to supplant constitutional democracy in America with a Bible-based theocracy.

Hanna takes readers onstage, backstage, and into the community and courts to reveal the conflicts, charges, and realities that are playing out at the intersection of erotic fantasy, religion, politics, and law. She explains why exotic dance is a legitimate form of artistic communication and debunks the many myths and untruths that the Christian Right uses to fight strip clubs. Hanna also demonstrates that while the fight happens at the local level, it is part of a national campaign to regulate sexuality and punish those who do not adhere to Scripture-based moral values. Ultimately, she argues, the naked truth is that the separation of church and state is under siege and our civil liberties—free speech, women’s rights, and free enterprise—are at stake.

Judith Hanna is a leading dance scholar and critic who has served as an expert court witness in more than one hundred exotic dance cases nationwide. She has written hundreds of articles and numerous books, including To Dance Is Human: A Theory of Nonverbal Communication; The Performer-Audience Connection; Dance, Sex, and Gender; Dancing for Health: Conquering and Preventing Stress; and Partnering Dance and Education.

The University Libraries have hosted Speaking of Books since 2005, giving dozens of campus authors a forum to engage the campus community.