Alia Shawkat plays Madeleine Tress in the FX series Pride. Courtesy of Professor Tom Kalin

Complex Issues: ‘Pride, 1950s: People Had Parties’ | Spring 2022

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Director Tom Kalin, Film Program, and Executive Producer Alex Stapleton, in conversation with George Chauncey, Department of History, and Kendall Thomas, Columbia Law School.


This conversation explored the first episode of Pride, a six-part documentary series chronicling the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States from the 1950s to the 2000s. Each episode is dedicated to a decade and directed by a different director. Kalin’s contribution — "1950s: People Had Parties" — is a “revealing look at the vibrant and full lives lived by queer people in the 1950s amidst a steep rise in governmental regulations against the LGBTQ+ community led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, who ushered in an era of government-sanctioned persecution,” according to FX Networks. 


In advance of this conversation, please watch Pride: "1950s: People Had Parties" on FX or Hulu and read Tom Kalin’s article, “Politics and Pride are Central to Building LGBTQ Community,” in Columbia News. 


Co-presented by the Columbia University School of the Arts, the Studio for Law and Culture and the Department of History.

About Complex Issues

Complex Issues explores difference, visibility, and representation through recent work by faculty of Columbia University and Columbia University School of the Arts in particular. Conversations invite challenging questions of racial, ethnic, gender, economic, sexual, religious, and cultural complexity, and how they are articulated across discipline and genre today.

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