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"Death in the Sauna" Book Reading and Discussion with Dennis Altman

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A man with his eyes closed in a sauna, the cover of the book "Death in the Sauna"

On the eve of a major international AIDS Conference in London, the Conference chair is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Tracking down how he died reveals layers of deception, rivalry and danger for those close to him…

The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health and the USC Dornsife Department of English invite you to attend a book reading and discussion with esteemed Australian author, academic, and gay rights activist Dennis Altman. After the reading, Professor Dennis Altman will be in conversation about the content and his process with Professor Alice Echols.

This in-person book reading is a collaboration between the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health and the USC Dornsife Department of English

Please join us on Wednesday, September 20th from 4:00 ­– 5:00 p.m. PT in the Ide Memorial Commons Room (Taper Hall THH 420) on the USC University Park Campus.


An image of Professor Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman is the son of Jewish refugees, and a writer and academic who first came to attention with the publication of his book Homosexual: Oppression & Liberation in 1972. This book, which has often been compared to Greer's Female Eunuch and Singer's Animal Liberation was the first serious analysis to emerge from the gay liberation movement, and was published in seven countries, with a readership which continues today. [In 2012 University of Queensland Press issued a fortieth anniversary edition, and an anthology based on the book, After Homosexual, was published in 2014].

Since then Altman has written fifteen books, exploring sexuality, politics and their inter-relationship in Australia, the United States and now globally. These include The Homosexualization of America, AIDS and the New Puritanism, Rehearsals for Change, Gore Vidal's America and Fifty First State?, as well as a novel (The Comfort of Men) and memoirs (Defying Gravity). His book, Global Sex (Chicago U.P, 2001), has been translated into five languages, including Spanish, Turkish and Japanese. His most recent books include Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist [2019] and God Save the Queen: The strange persistence of monarchies [2021].

Altman is a Vice Chancellor's Fellow and Professorial Fellow in the Institute for Human Security at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard in 2005 and listed by The Bulletin as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever [July 4 2006]. In 2013 he was awarded the Simon and Gagnon Award for career contributions to the field of sociology of sexualities by the American Sociological Association's Section on Sexualities and in 2021 he received the Eminent Scholar Award from the LGBTQ caucus of the International Studies Association. He holds an honorary doctorate of letters from Macquarie University.


An image of Professor Alice Echols

Alice Echols is Professor of History, and the Barbra Streisand Chair of Contemporary Gender Studies at USC. She is the author of four books that have shifted our understanding of the “long Sixties.” 

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