The Gadfly was a student literary magazine at Old Dominion University (ODU) from 1962 to 1972.
Founded in 1962 by Eric Browne and other students, the Gadfly featured poetry, artwork, satire, photography, and essays in the quarterly magazine. With English professor Leland Peterson as its adviser, the Gadfly pushed the envelope on topics related to segregation, the Vietnam War, and women’s rights, among others. Over its 11-year run, the Gadfly caused tension with the administration over the amount of academic freedom in student publications at state-funded institutions. In one famous incident, the magazine published a story entitled “The Immaculate Deception” in which the author portrayed Mary as a prostitute and Jesus as black. In response, the administration withheld the contract of Dr. Peterson and the censorship issue went all the way up to the Governor of Virginia. In the end, the administration renewed Dr. Peterson’s contract and the Gadfly continued.
- The Gadfly Records, Special Collections and University Archives, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529.
- ODU Photographic Collection, Old Dominion University Libraries Digital Collections, Old Dominion University Libraries.
- Old Dominion University Photographic and Multimedia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Perry Library, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, 23529.
- Bookman, Steven and Jessica Ritchie. Old Dominion University: A Campus History Series. Arcadia Publishing. Charleston, South Carolina, 2017.