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Dennis Altman - Unrequited Love

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From Lyndon Johnson to Trump, Altman’s diary takes us from the early days of AIDS to gay liberation against a backdrop of Australia’s strange love for America.
— Gillian Triggs

Dennis Altman's long obsession with the United States began when he went there as a graduate student during Lyndon Johnson's presidency. His early writing stemmed from the counter-culture that developed in the States in the mid-1960s. Altman was involved in early Gay Liberation, and his 1971 study Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation is regarded as a classic work in its field. Since then, Altman's writings have touched in various ways upon the shifting terrain of sexual politics, including the AIDs epidemic, which he witnessed from the onset while living in New York.

An ingenious combining of memoir and analysis, personal reflection and social science.
— Professor Frank Bongiorno

Altman's memoir, Unrequited Love, is as wide-ranging and remarkable as his career, moving between Australia, the United States, Europe and parts of Asia, and influenced by encounters with intellectuals and writers including James Baldwin, Gough Whitlam, Dorothy Porter, Christos Tsiolkas, Gore Vidal and Susan Sontag.

Written through the lens of recent activism and the global rise of authoritarianism, this is a story of a half century of activism, intellectualism, conflict and friendship.

Meet Dennis Altman for the Canberra launch of Unrequited Love: Diary of an Accidental Activist as he chats with ANU’s Frank Bongiorno.

Tickets: $15 (includes a complimentary glass of wine or juice)


Dennis Altman, a Professorial Fellow in Human Security at La Trobe University, has published thirteen books, most recently The End of the Homosexual? and (with Jon Symons) Queer Wars. In 2006, The Bulletin listed Dennis Altman as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever, and he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2008.

Frank Bongiorno is a historian at the Australian National University. His books include The Sex Lives of Australians: A History (2012) and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (2015), both published by Black Inc. With Benjamin T. Jones and John Uhr, he recently co-edited Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections That Shaped Australia Monash University Publishing, 2018).

Earlier Event: September 15
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