Is Closing of Gender Studies Center a Coincidence?

May 14, 2014

The University of South Carolina Upstate in April called off a scheduled comic performance about lesbian life -- amid intense legislative criticism of a public university holding such an event (which was part of a larger program on gay and lesbian studies). Now comes word, first reported in Charleston City Paper, that the Center for Women's and Gender Studies, which organized the program, is going to be eliminated. Many supporters of the center see this as punishment for having organized gay and lesbian studies programming, or an attempt to win back legislative support. Gender studies scholars are organizing a petition drive to reverse the decision. The university says that the cuts are part of an ongoing effort to save money, and have no relationship to the recent controversy. Chancellor Tom Moore, in a statement, did acknowledge that the closure was "particularly hard given the importance of their programming and the unfortunate timing of this announcement."


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