Dr. Brandy Wilson

COLUMBUS, Miss.– Dr. Brandy Wilson has been named the 2022 Humanities Teacher of the Year and will present a public lecture titled “Perfectly Queer: Redefining the Archetype” Friday, Feb. 25 at 12 p.m. on the campus of Mississippi University for Women in Cochran Hall’s Limbert Assembly Room. The lecture is open to the public, though attendance is limited.

Wilson will discuss queer characters and characterization in literature from a scholarly and craft perspective, emphasizing the necessity for fully humanized queer characters for both acceptance and representation. She will explore various works of literature as well as read from her own work in progress. According to Wilson, for decades surrounding the 1950s, queer characters were portrayed as sick, murderous, alcoholic, and dangerous–and those were the most sympathetic characters. Since the Stonewall Uprising, audiences have demanded more for queer characters, but has there been an over-correction, resulting in more admirable but equally flat, “perfectly queer,” characters.

Each year the Mississippi Humanities Council grants Humanities Teacher Awards to one faculty member from each state institution, including four-year universities and community colleges. Wilson was chosen through nominations and votes by other humanities faculty members at The W, and will be recognized at the Humanities Council’s Public Humanities Awards ceremony at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson on March 25.