"If something wasn't done soon": The Murder of Larry King

Monday, 21 April 2014 - 5:00pm6:30pm

Rainey Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

"If something wasn't done soon": The Murder of Larry King

Gayle Salamon

Assistant Professor of English
Princeton University

Lawrence King, a gender-transgressive 15-year-old, was shot and killed in 2008 by a 14-year-old classmate. His shooting followed a campaign of harassment by other students, who bullied him for dressing, sounding, and walking "like a fag" and "like a girl." During the murder trial, defense lawyers suggested that King's queer behavior made him the perpetrator, not the victim, of harassment. Gender Studies specialist Gayle Salamon will discuss her work on this disturbing case and its aftermath, in particular how the media and public's confusion between sexual behavior and gender expression had significant consequences for the murder trial.

Gayle Salamon is Assistant Professor of English and Charles H. McIlwain University Preceptor at Princeton University, where she was the Cotsen LGBT Postdoctoral Fellow in the Princeton Society of Fellows from 2005-2008. Her research interests include phenomenology, gender and queer theory, 20th century continental philosophy, psychoanalysis, and visual culture.

Her book Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality won the 2010 Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies. She is currently at work on two manuscripts, one exploring narrations of bodily pain and disability in contemporary memoir and a second analyzing the murder of Lawrence King.

PHF RECOMMENDS:

"Penn talk explores high-profile teen murder" by Ray Simon. Philadelphia Gay News.

"Is 'Valentine Road' One of the Best Documentaries Ever Made?" by Alice Lytton. /bent: a queer blog.