Samuel Steward

This conference began in honor of Samuel Steward in 2012 and continues to be supported by the Samuel Steward Fund.

Samuel Steward's influences and legacies stretch across many areas of specialization--academia, tattooing, writing, erotica, art--and many geographies--such as Columbus, Montana, Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Paris, Rome, Oakland, and San Francisco. An overview of his life has been produced by In the Life Video.  A slideshow of his Ohio State connections reveals that his experiences here as an undergraduate and graduate student from 1927-34 shaped his life in important ways (e.g., helping him to make contact with major writers of his day, such as Gertrude Stein; generating interest in an academic life which he later eschewed; and providing the setting for one of his major novels). The slideshow also emphasizes Steward's influence at Ohio State, where he earned a measure of fame on campus for his writing and twice shocked the English department (in his entrance exam and his dissertation) by alluding to homosexuality.

Steward Cover OSUP

We are pleased to announce the publication of Samuel Steward and the Pursuit of the Erotic: Sexuality, Literature, Archives (2017), edited by Debra A. Moddelmog and Martin Joseph Ponce. Published by The Ohio State University Press, this collection of essays pays tribute to the former Buckeye by examining how he documented, represented, theorized, and pursued a wide range of erotic desires and encounters throughout his life as an English literature professor, vernacular sexologist, tattoo artist, visual artist, and writer of poetry, novels, autobiography, and essays. The contributors explore Steward’s archival practices, literary production, and lived experiences to address such issues as indexicality and the trace; homoerotic and heteroerotic intimacies; attachments to material objects; autoethnographic sexology; sexual mysteries and coded revelations; essayistic performances of the self; masochism and racialized desires; and the genre of literary pornography. Closing with a personal reminiscence by Steward’s close friend and literary executor, the volume promises to appeal to academics and the general public alike.

Contributors include Tim Dean, Aren Z. Aizura and Emmett Ramstad, Scott Herring, Karen Leick, Jeremy Mulderig, Jennifer Burns Bright, Steven Ruszczycky, and Michael Williams.