Back to the City: A Lecture and Roundtable on Timothy Stewart-Winter’s Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics

In this lecture and roundtable discussion, Timothy Stewart-Winter and panelists will discuss his book Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), which argues that big-city municipal politics was central to the gay movement’s path since the 1950s from the closets to the corridors of power, while shifting the story from the coastal meccas to the nation’s great inland metropolis.

Themes will include the role of policing in LGBTQ mobilization, the gay movement’s debt to urban black politics, the politics of region and spatial scale, and the present and future of urban queer activism. Following Stewart-Winter’s mini-lecture, Thomas J. Sugrue will lead a discussion by Phil Tiemeyer, Pauline Park, Alexandra Moffett-Bateau, and members of the audience.


Timothy Stewart-Winter is Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark, where he is Acting Director of Women’s & Gender Studies (spring 2016) and co-directs the Queer Newark Oral History Project. Queer Clout is Stewart-Winter’s first book. His writing has appeared in the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, Gender & History, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Dissent. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in history from Swarthmore College, and has received Jacob K. Javits, ACLS/Mellon, and James C. Hormel fellowships. He is at work on a second book, Sex and Drugs in the AIDS Crisis, which examines the first fifteen years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S., locating queer and black experiences of illness, death, and caregiving in their material and political context.

Thomas J. Sugrue is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at NYU. For twenty-four years, he taught at Penn, where he was David Boies Professor of History and Sociology and the founding director of the Penn Social Science and Policy Forum. Sugrue’s research interests include the history of the United States in the twentieth century, urban politics and policy, civil rights, and race and ethnicity. He is currently writing a book on the history of real estate in modern America. His publications include These United States: The Making of a Nation, 1890 to the Present (Norton, 2015); Not Even Past: Barack Obama and the Burden of Race (Princeton University Press, 2010); Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North (Random House, 2008), and The Origins of the Urban Crisis(Princeton University Press, 1996/2014). Sugrue has contributed to the New York Times, Washington Post, London Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, and The Nation. Sugrue is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians.

Phil Tiemeyer is Associate Professor of History at Philadelphia University. His first book, Plane Queer: Labor Sexuality and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants(University of California Press, 2013) was awarded the 2015 John Boswell Prize from the AHA’s Committee on LGBT History for its exploration of LGBT employees in the flight attendant profession in the US. He is currently conducting research for a second book, Aerial Ambassadors: National Air Carriers and US Power in the Jet Age, which studies the formation of national airlines in the developing world, linking the business of commercial aviation to developments in diplomatic history, as well as global sexuality and gender norms. To aid his work on Aerial Ambassadors, he was awarded the Alfred Verville Research Fellowship from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. His PhD is in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Masters degree is from the University of Chicago.

Pauline Park is chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA) and president of the board of directors of Queens Pride House. She led the campaign for the transgender rights law enacted by the New York City Council in 2002. In January 2012, Park participated in the first US LGBTQ delegation to Palestine. Park did her B.A. in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.Sc. in European Studies at the London School of Economics and her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana. She lived in Chicago from 1983-88 and 1994-95.

Alexandra Moffett-Bateau holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and BA in Political Science and African American Studies from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice- City University of New York. Alexandra’s intellectual work focuses on race, gender & politics, urban politics and political behavior, with broad specialties in American Politics and Political Theory. Her manuscript in progress examines the impact spatial and aesthetic realities in residential neighborhoods have on political engagement and political identity development. Alexandra’s research agenda is centrally concerned with the external forces that shape individual political capacity. Specifically, she is invested in thinking about how the intersections of race, class and gender can make populations especially vulnerable to the spaces they live in, the conditions within which they work and the actions of local government actors in their neighborhoods and cities.

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