Gay American History @4O Conference: LBGTQ History – Past, Present Future

On behalf of, we are pleased to invite you to Gay American History @ 40 Conference held at The New School from May 4th to 6th, 2016. This conference marks the fortieth anniversary of Jonathan Ned Katz’s Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the USA (1976) and 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, Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies (University of Arizona) and Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies whose work focuses on gender and human sexuality, along with more invited speakers to be announced.

This event is cosponsored by CLAGS. For more information please refer to

Conference sponsors:

GAH@40 is sponsored by: The Arcus Foundation, The Digital Humanities Initiative, Historical Studies and Gender Studies at The New School, CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies at CUNY Graduate Center, and

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