The announcement comes following a decision by Villanova University earlier this week to cancel a similar workshop on personal narrative that the artist was scheduled to teach there. A statement released by Villanova said in part that the administration felt Miller's planned workshops "were not in keeping with our Catholic and Augustinian values and mission."
Miller has made it clear in interviews and Internet postings that he feels Villanova's actions are the result of homophobia, as he is a gay male artist with a reputation for incorporating both politically charged and sexually explicit material in his performance pieces. Among his many solo works are My Queer Body, Glory Box, Naked Breath, and most recently, Lay of the Land.
The artist is no stranger to controversy, perhaps being best known as one of the "NEA Four" (along with Karen Finley, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes) who, in 1990, had their peer-approved National Endowment for the Arts grants revoked for violating newly passed legislation requiring the NEA consider "general standards of decency" in their administration of funds. The four artists sued the government, with the legal battle that followed placing them at the heart of the so-called "Culture Wars."
The April workshops are described on Bryn Mawr's website as focusing "on identity and culture, questions of diversity and difference, knowledge of self and others," and will result in solo pieces that will be performed by the participants at the conclusion of the workshop process, which is open to any member of the Bi-Co community including students, faculty, and staff.
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