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Dr. James T. Sears
The 'Satan of the University'

Compiled By GayToday

jsears2.jpg - 8.88 K Dr. James T. Sears is an Independent Scholar living near Charleston on one of the sea islands. He teaches and lectures in the areas of gay studies and curriculum at a variety of colleges, including the first course to have been approved at the University of South Carolina and that included lesbian and gay studies: Understanding Sexual Diversity on Campus.

During the past 15 years, Dr. Sears has written more than 125 book chapters, articles, essays, and scholarly papers, as well as eleven books, including: Growing up Gay in the South; Lonely Hunters: An Oral History of Lesbian and Gay Southern Life, 1948-1969 (Finalist for the 1997 American Library Association gay non-fiction award); Curriculum, Religion, and Public Education; Overcoming Heterosexism and Homophobia; and, Bound by Diversity.

His books have received critical acclaim from The Advocate, Urban Review, Kirkus Reviews, The Harvard Educational Review, Publishers Weekly, the Washington Post, and Family Life Educator.

Three of Dr. Sears' new books will be coming out this year. The first, Queering Elementary Education (co-edited with Will Letts) provides sound and intelligible ideas and resources for educators and parents seeking to affirm sexual diversity in the elementary grades. Turning Points, a curriculum textbook (co-authored by J. Dan Marshall and William Schubert) will be published by Merrill/Prentice-Hall while Cassell will release Sears' co-edited book (with Debbie Epstein), A Dangerous Knowing, critiquing the Anglophone hegemony of sexuality.

Previous People Feature articles from the GayToday Archive:
Review: Lonely Hunters

Interview with Dr. James T. Sears

Evesdropping on Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition

Related Sites:
Dr. James T. Sears
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From now through the millennium Dr. Sears will be working on two major projects. His generations project -- a cultural and oral history of southern life through the eyes of six queer generations -- continues. Rebels, Rubyfruit and Rhinestones, chronicling the years 1969-1983, will be published by Rutgers University Press. His research continues covering the pre WWII era. Another project is his biography of one of the early Mattachine leaders and gay activists, Hal Call, documenting Call's 80-year fight for sexual freedom from Grundy County, Missouri to San Francisco.

Graduating summa cum laude from Southern Illinois University with a bachelor's degree in history, Dr. Sears earned a masters from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in political science, and his Ph.D. in sociology and education from Indiana University. His dissertation was a 1985 finalist for the American Educational Research Association outstanding dissertation award.

jsears1.jpg - 11.00 K Prior to moving to South Carolina, this outstanding scholar served as an instructor at Trinity University located in San Antonio. He's also been a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Feminist Research at the University of Southern California (1993-94 academic year) and a 1995 Southeast Asian Fulbright Senior Research Scholar on sexuality and culture.

Dr. Sears has enjoyed opportunities to live overseas in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia where he's taught and conducted research. He's also served as a consultant to organizations such as the Getty Center for Education in the Arts, the New England Research Institute, the South Carolina Educational Policy Center, the RAND Corporation and the PBS documentary on southern gay life, Greetings From Out Here.

During the early nineties Dr. Sears worked as editor of Empathy, an interdisciplinary journal on sexual identities. He was also was the founder and past president of the American Educational Research Association's lesbian and gay studies special interest group as well co-editor of the peer-reviewed, international journal, Teaching Education.

Currently Dr. Sears serves on the Board of Editors for a number of journals, including Journal of Homosexuality, Review of Educational Research, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, and the Journal of Sexual Identity. He also serves as the Acquisitions Director for the Southern Studies Collection at ONE Institute, the educational book review editor for the Journal of Homosexuality, and the editor for a book series, Curriculum, Cultures and [Homo]Sexualities.

In recent years, Sears' columns have appeared in lesbian and gay newspapers. He's participated in a variety of radio talk shows and lectured throughout the United States. He's been regularly interviewed for such media outlets as The Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine, Time, ABC Nightly News, the Associated Press, U.S. News and World Report, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, and Newsday, national gay publications such as The Advocate and Out magazines, and talk shows such as Oprah Winfrey and This is America with Dennis Wholey.

Dr. Sears' visiting lectureships and seminars have included campus visits to Northwestern, Stetson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Duke, University of Delaware, Penn State, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, SUNY-Albany, University of Michigan, University of Tennessee, Bucknell, University of Southern California, and the University of Florida.

His workshops have been conducted for organizations such as AT&T, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Planned Parenthood of New England, and he has spoken at political rallies such as Atlanta's Gay Pride and at major conferences such as the International Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, and the American Educational Research Association.

Living in the Deep South, being an intellectual activist, and working as a gay scholar -- not surprisingly -- has attracted national attention and the ire of some conservative Southerners, including Pat Robertson who lambasted Dr. Sears as "Satan of the University." jsears3.jpg - 10.38 K Articles concerning Pat Robertson's comments on Dr. Sears

Additional biographical information can be found about Dr. Sears in the following standard reference books: Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the South and Southwest, Dictionary of International Biography, Men of Achievement, Who's Who in American Education, and Who's Who in Emerging Leaders of America. His papers are housed at the Special Collections Library in Duke University.

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