Rachel Corbman, State University of New York at Stony Brook
John A. D'Emilio, University of Illinois at Chicago
Rostom Mesli, University of Michigan
SaraEllen Strongman, University of Pennsylvania
Bringing together AHA and MLA affiliated scholars, roundtable participants share an investment in centering institutions, communities, and fields of study that are often left out of accounts of the development of LGBT history and queer studies. Rather than focusing on scholarly work of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, for example, many roundtable participants look to an earlier moment in the 1970s, as well as communities of LGBTQ scholars who worked outside of or in perilous relation to universities. Similarly, in an analysis of our current moment, another participant questions the ramifications of associating queer studies with elite universities that have long excluded poor and working class students. Participants also share an interest in thinking through the field’s racial, class, and gender politics. Here, many participants stress the close kinship between feminist and LGBTQ social movements and fields of study, including specific analyses of women’s history, black feminism, and intersectionality.
Overall, this roundtable invites conversation regarding the complex entanglement of LGBTQ social movements and fields of study. Activists, roundtable participants collectively suggest, are engaged in theory making, while social movements have a profound effect on the development of these ostensibly academic fields of study. This roundtable should thus be of wide interest to LGBT history and queer studies scholars, as well as historians of social movements and higher education.