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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

  • 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.

  • Barbara Gittings: Founding New York Daughters of Bilitis, 1958

    Barbara Gittings interviewed by Jonathan Ned Katz in 1974 about her development as a Lesbian, and about the founding and early history of the New York Daughters of Bilitis.

  • TRANSforming Randy Wicker

    OutHistory.org presents online the first public showing of a documentary film about Randy Wicker, long-time gay activist. The 50 minute film, produced and directed by Michael Kasino, uses interviews, movies, and still photos to detail the life of this ornery, eccentric gay pioneer. OutHistory is grateful to Kasino for giving the site the chance to premier his Wicker doc during LGBTQ Pride Month, 2015. The film has music by Moby.

  • Marc Stein: 50th Anniversary Annual Reminders, Philadelphia, July 4, 1965-July 4, 1969

    This feature commemorates the 50th anniversary of the demonstrations for gay and lesbian rights that began at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall on July 4, 1965, and that continued as Annual Reminders on July 4 in 1966, 1967, 1968, and 1969.