Teaching Incorporating Queer History into Latin American Survey Courses: A Roundtable

AHA Session 4
Conference on Latin American History 5
Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History 1
Thursday, January 5, 2017: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Mile High Ballroom 1A (Colorado Convention Center, Ballroom Level)
Nicholas L. Syrett, University of Northern Colorado
Pablo E. Ben, San Diego State University
Benjamin A. Cowan, George Mason University
Zeb Tortorici, New York University
Heather A. Vrana, Southern Connecticut State University

Session Abstract

In 2016, the AHA’s Task Force on LGBTQ Historians issued its final report. One recommendation from that report was that the AHA should, in conjunction with the Committee on LGBT History, organize sessions devoted to incorporating queer history into survey courses. This session, cosponsored by the CLGBTH, the Teaching Division, and the Conference on Latin American History, constitutes one of two initial efforts to address that recommendation. Five Latin American historians will discuss the ways that they incorporate queer history into their survey courses on both colonial and modern history. They will focus on particular events, figures, and political movements, as well as strategies for talking about these themes.  The historians themselves focus on a diverse range of countries and periods, from colonial Latin America to twentieth-century Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, and Mexico. Key for all of them are the ways that studying queer Latin American history complicates simple binary notions of heterosexuality and homosexuality, male and female, as well as disrupting notions of a backward, Catholic Latin America in contrast to a progressive, forward-thinking United States.

The goal of this panel is not just to learn the strategies of the presenters, but also to encourage conversation and the sharing of knowledge among attendees as well. For this reason we have chosen to structure the panel as a roundtable; speakers will give brief presentations (detailed below) and then open the conversation up to the audience. We hope that this panel (along with one focusing on U.S. surveys) will constitute just the first steps in a longer conversation that we plan to continue at the 2018 meeting and beyond.

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