Annual Reports


Seminar in the City: Queer Performance

In cooperation with Fourth Arts Block and Dixon Place, this past spring semester CLAGS hosted Seminar in the City: Queer Performing Artist Series. Featured artist included the comedians Robin Cloud and Micia Mosely, choreographer Jen Abrams and performance works by Una Osato and Yalini Dream. The events were streamed live and audience members were invited … Read more

Latin America & North America host workshops at 25th ILGA World Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil

As the world is increasingly connected through information technologies, the International Resource Network (IRN), ( has developed an active network of scholars, activist and artists that not only do on the ground organizing but use the IRN website to share and archive information, build relationships and support visibility and space for LGBT communities globally. The … Read more

Reports from CLAGS: IRN Caribbean

On June 21, 2011, The Caribbean Region of the International Resource Network held Preserving Our Stories – Caribbean LGBT Histories & Activism, a launch and discussion event regarding the digital archive of the Jamaica Gay Freedom Movement, one of the first public Caribbean sexual minority advocacy organizations. The collection, donated by Larry Chang, and now … Read more

Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life In America

This fall, CLAGS is excited to host an event with the 2009-2010 Robert Giard Fellowship winners Molly Landreth and Amelia Tovey for their groundbreaking multi-media project. Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life In America is a collection of photographs and films that explore and capture the varied lives of queer people living in America today. … Read more

SEMINAR IN THE CITY: Queer Bloomsbury/Buggersbury

Facilitator: Andrea Freud Loewenstein Thursday Evenings in October, 7- 9 PM “How queer,” Virginia Woolf wrote, to have so many selves.” If you would like to read Woolf’s work but don’t know which self to start with, if you have found the writing of Woolf’s friend Lytton Strachey obscure and that of her lover, Vita … Read more

Celebrating 20 Years of the David R. Kessler Lecture: The Kessler Conversations Series

One of CLAGS’s first and most lasting contributions to the world of LGBT Studies was to establish the David R. Kessler Lecture. Generously underwritten by Dr. Kessler, the annual lecture has functioned as an award to scholars, artists, and activists who have made field-changing contributions to Queer Studies. Indeed, the roster of Kessler awardees is … Read more

Visiting Scholars

Chrysanthi Nigianni received her PhD in Philosophy from the University of East London in 2008. Her doctorate thesis revisits the links between queer theory and continental philosophy. She is the editor of Deleuze and Queer Theory (Edinburgh University Press, 2009), Deleuzian Politics (New Formations a journal of culture/theory/politics, Issue 68, 2009) and of the forthcoming … Read more

Letter from the Incoming Director, James Wilson

I am enormously proud (and intimidated) to be succeeding Sarah Chinn as Executive Director of CLAGS. This is, to say the least, an interesting moment to assume the reins of one of the foremost LGBT organizations in the country. The New York State Senate delivered a huge win to supporters of gay marriage; Illinois and … Read more

Letter from the Outgoing Director

For the past twenty years, CLAGS has been a reliable source for whatever is new and exciting in Queer Studies. From the groundbreaking “Black Nations/Queer Nations” conference to our yearlong series that brought together queer and disability perspectives to the “Trans Politics, Social Change, and Justice” conference to the mindblowing “In Amerika They Call Us … Read more

An Excerpt from the 2009 Kessler Lecture Ties That Bind: Familial Homophobia And Its Consequences

Despite the emphasis on gay marriage and parenthood that has overwhelmed our freedom vision, how gays and lesbians are treated IN families, is far more influential on the quality of individual lives and the larger social order, than how we are treated AS families. Tonight I will try to articulate how and why systems of … Read more

Donor Profile: Mark Schulte

I am a CLAGS member because I feel that it is important for the GBLT community to be studied & represented in an academic setting. CLAGS offers a unique opportunity to present GBLT scholars & their work to our community. I have attended numerous CLAGS events over the course of many years & learned so … Read more

Confronting Co-Optation: Thoughts from a Feminist Activist Campaign to Challenge Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery

Rachel Liebert spoke at an event hosted by the Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy on Tuesday 13th October at the GC, called “Vulvas for Sale? A Discussion on Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery” Increasingly, the aesthetic and sexual medicine industries are adopting and co-opting core feminist concepts such as “empowerment,” “sexual liberation” and “choice” for their … Read more

The importance of being a Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

The exchange program in which I participated is part of a Brazilian educational policy to stimulate knowledge production in our country. I was granted a CAPES/ PDEE scholarship (Sep 2009–Feb 2010) by the Brazilian government and full access to City University of New York (CUNY) campuses, libraries and research facilities by the Center for Lesbian … Read more Update, CLAGS’ MediaWiki website on LGBTQ US history, is now over one year old! As we look back over the past year, we have a great deal to celebrate.’s content and audience have grown significantly since its debut. After publishing never-beforeseen NYPD reports from the Stonewall riots this past June, received significant media … Read more

IRN Africa Conference

On Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, the Central New York Center (CNYC) of Empire State College, in Syracuse, NY, hosted the IRN-Africa conference. This was an amazing group—about 40 in all—of scholars, artists, and activists from around the world who do research on gender and sexuality in Africa. Folks came from Sweden, Switzerland, Ghana, South … Read more

International Resource Network (IRN) Presents Seminars in the City

One of the major achievements of the IRN this year was our collaboration with CLAGS’s ongoing Seminars in the City series. The Seminars in the City series is part of CLAGS’s mission to make scholarly research in Queer Studies accessible to the general public. The seminars, held at the LGBT Center, have been traditionally supported … Read more

International Resource Network (IRN) News

The IRN continued to make major strides over the last six months by organizing two region-based meetings (Caribbean and Africa), cosponsoring CLAGS-IRN Seminars in the City (see separate article: IRN Presents Seminars in the City in this section ), and making progress on launching a revamped website that will debut our brand new logo! In … Read more

A Beautiful People

We are a beautiful people. People of the drum and open spirit. People with the strength to live our lives in ways that bring us one-step closer to whole. We are beautiful when we constantly push and pull at the traditional American social fabric by just being ourselves. When I first heard of Fire and … Read more

Fire & Ink: What Better Way?

Fire & Ink is an advocacy organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender writers of African descent. This past October, writers and readers, scholars and publishers, students and teachers, and curators and media geniuses all joined together in Austin, TX to inspire, support, and share powerful creations and make enduring alliances.” Hundreds of participants … Read more

In Amerika They Call Us Dykes: Lesbian Lives in the 1970s

Over the course of 2010, CLAGS will be embarking on a yearlong journey of rediscovery, research, and representation in our series “In Amerika They Call Us Dykes: Lesbian Lives in the 1970s.” We take the title of the series from the groundbreaking chapter on lesbian experience in the Boston Women’s Health Collective’s first edition of … Read more

Acknowledgement of Staff/Board Changes

CLAGS bids a fond but sad farewell to several staff members this semester. Shawnta Smith, our Memberships and Fellowships Coordinator is now a librarian at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn; Alyssa Nitchun, CLAGS’ director of development, has taken a full-time development position at StoryCorps; Deesha Narichania, IRN Coordinator is working at the Violence Intervention and … Read more

New Staff

IRN Coordinator, Selly Thiam is a journalist and oral historian whose work has appeared on NPR, PBS and in Colorlines Magazine. Selly was formerly the producer for the StoryCorps Griot Initiative which gathered over 2000 interviews from African-Americans across the United States. She is the founder of None on Record (NOR), a transnational audiobased oral … Read more

New Board Members

Shana Agid is a visual artist, writer, and cultural critic with a particular interest in power and representations of power in the post- Civil Rights Era United States. He has written on representations of trans people for Flow ( and Clamor Magazine, on the limits of defining citizenship through the codification of “hate crime,” and … Read more

Focusing on Black Queer Writing : CLAGS at the Fire & Ink Cotillion III in Austin Texas

On October 8–11th, 2009, an historic event occurred in Austin, Texas. The Fire & Ink III: Cotillion brought together LGBT writers and artists of African descent from around the nation and beyond. In 2002, its founding year, Thomas Glave, editor of Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (Duke University … Read more

Donor Profile: David Serlin

I was thrilled to discover that CLAGS existed when I moved to New York City in 1992. As a graduate student, I volunteered as an usher at groundbreaking academic conferences and cultural events, and spent Saturday afternoons stuffing envelopes at Marty Duberman’s house. Ten years later, I was honored when I was invited to join … Read more

2010 Kessler Lecture – “What Can Brown Do For You? Race, Sexuality and the Future of LGBT Politics”

The mainstream LGBT politics has at best a transactional relationship to race and at worst an opportunistic one. To most LGBT people, race is invisible because the default is whiteness. Is this postcivil rights era “color-blindness” a good development over the more polarizing politics of identity? What does raceblindness mean for what constitutes victory? Is … Read more

Black Lesbians in the 70s

During the initial planning session for the In Amerika They Call Us Dykes: Lesbian Lives in the 70s Spring Series, there was lack of clarity about the activity of Black Lesbians in the early part of the 1970s. The aim for Black Lesbian Herstory in the 70s: An At Home Tour and Guide to the … Read more

The Robert Giard Foundation Fellows Enlighten Our World

This spring, the Robert Giard Foundation’s partnership with CLAGS completed the first of what is anticipated to be an annual event in both organizations’ calendars. On Thursday, May 7th, in front of a capacity audience, the first winner of the $7,500 Robert Giard Fellowship, Sonali Gulati, premiered her film, I AM. Two days later, jury … Read more

The Robert Giard Fellowship

For several years we at CLAGS had wanted to work with the Robert Giard Foundation on a project for LGBT artists, but couldn’t come up with the right vehicle. Eventually we hit on a perfect project: a fellowship for photographers and video artists working on queer and trans themes that would honor Robert Giard’s legacy … Read more

“I Am”

It was the summer of 1999 in Toronto at my very first public screening of my film titled “sum total” that someone asked me what my next film project was. And I had barely formalized my ideas in my head but I spoke from my heart and spoke of this film about parents of gay … Read more

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