Making Space for Pauli Murray: Transformations in a Queer Politics and a Queer Life

Friday, January 2, 2015: 3:50 PM
Conference Room E (Sheraton New York)
Dayo Gore, University of California, San Diego
This talk will consider the ways Pauli Murray’s life of political activism and personal negotiations resists many of the neat historical framings that seek to situate her as a celebratory American story of inclusion, a tragic victim of the gendered norms of her time, or a singular figure in black feminist and civil rights politics. I will discuss the vexed, messy and at times contradictory personal and political choices and transformations that shaped Murray’s life path, highlighting the ways she negotiated multiple spaces and histories. It is at the intersections of twentieth century histories of race and gender, the U.S. left, class and Cold War politics, LGBT histories, and narratives of self-discovery that we might better understand the queer life and politics of Paul Murray.