Teaching Incorporating LGBT History into the US Survey: A Roundtable Discussion

AHA Session 311
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History 11
Sunday, January 8, 2017: 11:00 AM-12:30 PM
Mile High Ballroom 1A (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Amanda H. Littauer, Northern Illinois University
David D. Doyle, Southern Methodist University
Catherine O. Jacquet, Louisiana State University
Jen Manion, Amherst College

Session Abstract

Do you teach the U.S. survey? Would you like to learn—or think more about—how to introduce your survey students to LGBT history? This roundtable is designed to initiate a discussion about how faculty teaching U.S. history surveys can incorporate LGBT history content in rigorous and pedagogically effective ways. Moving beyond token inclusion of familiar events, such as Stonewall, roundtable participants will discuss how they use LGBT history to engage dominant themes and chronologies in US history. They will share how they and their students explore the role of sexual difference in the making of an American national identity by analyzing representations of gender crossing in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; consider the persistence of single-sex worlds across social classes in the nineteenth century by investigating erotic dynamics within romantic friendships as well as work and educational cultures; approach urbanization through the emergence of sexual minority subcultures; extend students’ understanding of postwar anti-communism by investigating the Lavender Scare; and discuss social and economic policies of the Reagan presidency by focusing on the AIDS crisis. Participants will also raise the broader question of how to address the complexities of identity and avoid essentialist pedagogies while highlighting subjects at the margins of social life. Together, participants will make the case for the significance of LGBT history to the narratives and themes of the U.S. survey and will welcome extended conversation about how faculty can revise our approaches to the survey accordingly.
See more of: AHA Sessions