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Call For Conference Papers
Gay American History @ 40
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer History:
Past, Present, Future

May 5-6, 2016 

New York City

Conference sponsors:

The Humanities Action Lab, The New School for Public Engagement,

CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at CUNY Graduate Center,


We are delighted to announce a conference marking the fortieth anniversary of Jonathan Ned Katz's Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (GAH, 1976).

This conference on the anniversary of Gay American History will provide an opportunity for critical reflection on the book and on the international development of LGBTQ and heterosexual history.

This conference will highlight the ways in which theories, categories, research methods and priorities have been constructed, challenged, and reconstructed over the last forty years of historical research on sexuality and gender.

GAH developed out of Katz's documentary play, Coming Out!, produced by New York's Gay Activists Alliance in June 1972. The book, intended for general readers and as an incitement to scholarly research, spoke to two audiences. This conference will also speak to the general public as well as to researchers, featuring scholarly presentations along with visual art and performances inspired by LGBTQ and heterosexual history.

As a founding text of LGBTQ history, GAH appeared before the modern institutionalization of such studies, when such research was actively discouraged in universities, and it was not clear that such scholarship had any future. Drawing together an unprecedented collection of documents produced since 1566, GAH anticipated and inspired many aspects of the LGBTQ history research that followed. This anniversary provides an opportunity for reflecting on earlier work on sexual and gender history and the growth of the field since 1976.

Because GAH was produced by an independent scholar, the legacy of the book also invites questions about the economics of such knowledge production, and the present situation of independent and other scholars in the fields of sexual and gender history.

Keynote speakers for the conference include Susan Stryker, with more invited speakers to be announced.

To propose a paper, please submit a 250-word proposal plus a brief bio for each person involved, including contact details.  Please indicate if your proposal is a conventional conference paper or a different type of contribution (e.g. performance, exhibition etc.).

Please send your proposal to daniel.marshall@deakin.edu.au

by the end of August 2015.

Contributions are especially desired in the areas of: 

*Indigenous and Native American histories

*Transgender histories

*Sexual and gender histories of class, race, ethnicity, ability

*Resistance and movement histories

*Heterosexual histories

*Early American histories

*LGBTQ U.S. history in the world: transnational links and influences 

*Sexual and gender histories beyond the U.S.

*Legacies of gay and lesbian liberation

*Constructing theories of sexual and gender history

*The material conditions of research

*Histories of the production of LGBTQ and heterosexual history

*Historical and archival methods

*Public history, the Internet, and social media

*Art inspired by sexual and gender history

*The doing and undoing of sexuality and gender

We strongly encourage contributions from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives.

It is anticipated that the conference will produce an edited collection.

Daniel Marshall (PhD.)
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Arts and Education
Deakin University
Melbourne, Australia

Welcome to OutHistory

OutHistory tells stories about the queer past, about people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.  It uncovers histories of same-gender love and of gender crossing in the recent and distant past.  We believe that knowing about this history can inspire and excite people, can rouse us to action, and can help us make a different future.  We believe that history is an especially valuable resource for LGBT people and our allies, since most of us did not grow up in families or communities where this history was easily available and taught.

Using this site:

You can help us make history in more ways than one.  You can explore our site and learn about the past, so that you’re better equipped to make the future you want.  You can share your own research about the queer past.  And you can become part of a living archive of memories and experience by telling your own story about selected topics. Read More

OutHistory Highlights

  • The American People, Volume 1

    Larry Kramer's The American People, Volume I, Search for My Heart, A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, April 7, 2015) is a fictional meditation on history, especially on gay and lesbian history. This is a collection of responses by historians, other scholars, and the public to this historical novel that were solicited by OutHistory.org

  • Gary Miller: Scared and Confused to Gay and Elected

    Gary Miller provides OutHistory with a moving, original memoir detailing the struggles of his childhood and youth, to his present political and community service.

  • Marc Stein: Dewey's Sit-in, Philadelphia, April 25, 1965

    In 1965 Drum magazine called it “the first sit-in of its kind in the history of the United States.” To honor the fiftieth anniversary of this major act of LGBT resistance, historian Marc Stein presents contemporary reports of the sit-in at Dewey’s restaurant, Center City, Philadelphia, on April 25, 1965. Staged by three teenagers, it protested discrimination against "homosexuals,”...

  • Almeda Sperry to Emma Goldman: 1912

    A collection of love letters to Emma Goldman, the anarchist leader, vividly conveys the emotions and varied life experience of Almeda Sperry, their complex author. The letters detail and evoke Sperry's tender-brutal relationship with her husband Fred; her bitter-funny cash relationship with Carnegie Steel Company boss "Newt"; her loving relationship with Florence, a graphically described woman friend; her own poor working-class ...

  • Christianne Anastasia Gadd: Margaret Haig Thomas, Lusitania’s Queer Cargo

    In recognition of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Luisitania on May 7, 1915, OutHistory is proud to present an original research report on one of its fascinating women passengers.