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Last modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Celebration of life honoring IU faculty member Alex Doty includes symposium, film screenings

Oct. 10, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Alexander Doty, a prominent scholar and professor who was chair of the Department of Communication and Culture in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, will be commemorated through events Friday and Saturday.

Doty was vacationing in Bermuda when he was struck by a motorcycle Aug. 2 and passed away three days later. He joined the faculties of the Departments of Communication and Culture and Gender Studies in 2008. He came to IU from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. He received a Ph.D. in English and film studies in 1984 from the University of Illinois-Urbana.

Beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, a symposium celebrating Doty's life and work will be held in Room 105 of Swain Hall East, 727 E. Third St.

Speakers will include Brenda Weber, IU associate professor of gender studies; Mary L. Gray, IU associate professor of communication and culture and a senior researcher at Microsoft Research New England; Susan Stryker, associate professor of gender and women's studies and director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona; Corey Creekmur, associate professor of English at the University of Iowa; and Constance Penley, professor of film and media studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara, co-director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and a founding editor of Camera Obscura.

The program will conclude at 5 p.m. Friday and reconvene for a reception and open mic from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Rachel's Cafe, 300 E. Third St.

On Saturday, Oct. 13, the celebration will continue from noon to 2 p.m. with a service celebrating Doty's life at IU Cinema, 1213 E. Seventh St. After a reception from 2 to 2:30 p.m. outside IU Cinema, several of Doty's favorite films will be screened -- "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," beginning at 2:30 p.m., followed by "Leave Her to Heaven" at 4:45 p.m. and "The Women" at 7 p.m. An after-party will be held at Uncle Elizabeth's, 1614 W. Third St.

Doty's scholarship centered on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and feminist film theory, and he wrote seminal books on queer film theory and gay culture. At the time of his death, he was working on a book with IU associate professor of English Patricia Ingham, "The Monstrous and the Medieval," an exploration of representations of medieval monstrosity in 20th-century film. He was simultaneously at work on a book-length project on contemporary film melodrama, as well as articles about Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor and Alfred Hitchcock.

Doty admired the work of renowned IU scientist Alfred Kinsey and was thrilled to work at an institution that supported Kinsey's landmark research. He also sat on the board of directors of the Kinsey Institute and was an ardent supporter of the IU Cinema, for which he conducted podcast interviews with film directors.

Doty left behind a mother, Rosanna Doty, from El Paso, Texas; two sisters, Barbara Braudaway and Maria Holmes; and two brothers, Arthur and Robert Doty, and an extended chosen family of dear friends who will miss him dearly.