WINDY CITY TIMES
||500 Gather for The Future of the Queer Past
by Salem Collo-Julin
This article shared 759 times since Wed Sep 20, 2000
More than 500 registrants representing over a dozen countries descended on the University of Chicago campus last weekend for The Future of the Queer Past. Billed as "a transnational history conference," this vast representation of current queer theory was organized by members of the University of Chicago's three-year-old Lesbian and Gay Studies Project.
The majority of the participants were historians and researchers attached to various academic institutions. However, a significant number of activists, students and independent scholars helped to make up the large and enthusiastic audience. The conference consisted of 50 panels which introduced papers from historians working in an array of both traditional and interdisciplinary fields. One can begin to grasp the immense variety in historical inquiry in queer studies by simply looking at some of the titles of these papers. Historians discussed research on topics as contemporary as "Fear, Shame, Pride and Anger: Lesbian and Gay Political Responses to AIDS, 1981-1986," the dissertation of University of Chicago's own Debbie Gould, and as historically obscure as "Representations of Sodomy in Massachusetts, 1690-1765," presented by Thomas Foster of the Johns Hopkins University.
Most of the panels offered much more than strictly historical inquiry. Discussion time was allotted at each session that enabled both presenters and audience members to explore issues of methodology, contemporary context, language and other possibilities for new information.
While decidedly an academic conference, there was enough programming to keep the "non-intellectuals" in the house stimulated. Six documentaries around various queer histories were screened during the conference, including Arthur Bresson's rarely shown Gay USA, made in 1977 at the height of Anita Bryant's media onslaught against gay rights. Several filmmakers introduced their own work. Greta Schiller, Andrea Weiss and Yvonne Welbon ( directors of The Man Who Drove with Mandela, A Bit of Scarlet and Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis at 100, respectively ) were able to participate on a panel exploring narrative and documentary strategies in films on queer history.
Conference attendees were also treated to performances from two acclaimed queer performers. Holly Hughes remounted her recent show Preaching to the Perverted on Thursday night. This tale of Hughes' experiences with censorship and the Supreme Court premiered in Chicago in July. Brian Freeman, longtime performer and activist and co-founder of Pomo Afro Homos, read excerpts from his recent play Civil Sex: The Life of Bayard Rustin. This study of Rustin's vast life and career as an activist was a fitting counterpart to the themes of historical re-naming and re-claiming that pervaded the conference.
As large as The Future of the Queer Past was, the conference was still missing work from several perspectives. Co-organizer George Chauncey, in his closing remarks, lamented the "disappointing lack of work on Asia and Africa" and expressed a general interest in seeing more cultural histories. Lisa Duggan of the New York University encouraged tenure-track professors at the conference to organize for a more ethically and racially diverse group of employed historians, citing the audience of mostly middle-class white academics as example. She sarcastically challenged reporters to title their news pieces "Queer Scholars Urge Terrorism in History Departments" as a response to her remarks.
The Future of the Queer Past did, however, highlight the important contribution that historians working in queer studies are making toward our further understanding of the GLBT community's place in this world. By resurrecting our past triumphs and defeats, we re-establish our roles within the family of Earth. We have a home in history and a place in the creation of the human myth.
This article shared 759 times since Wed Sep 20, 2000
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|Senate hearings for Gina Ortiz Jones, Shawn Skelly; historic if confirmed 2021-06-16|
--From a press release - Washington, DC — The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold confirmation hearings for two LGBTQ presidential nominees this Wednesday and both will make history if confirmed. Gina Ortiz Jones, nominated for Under Secretary of the Air ...
|U.S. women's soccer team beats Jamaica 4-0
- Carli Lloyd's 24-second strikethe second quickest goal in the United States women's national team historyhelped her team beat Jamaica 4-0 on June 13, ESPN.com reported. Lindsey Horan, Midge Purce and Alex Morgan all added goals for ...
|LGBTQ pioneers, trailblazers, and heroes to be honored at Stonewall Inn on June 24 2021-06-16|
--From a press release - (New York, NY, June 15, 2021)... On June 24, 2021, The International Imperial Courts of the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico and the National LGBTQ Task Force will again come together to honor LGBTQ pioneers, trailblazers, and ...
|Chicago History Museum to mark Juneteenth with event, free admission 2021-06-14|
- The Chicago History Museum will celebrate Juneteenth with free museum admission for all and a virtual event, "Resounding Liberty: Remembering Juneteenth." The virtual celebration includes a civic talk on the history and national impact of Juneteenth; ...
|First gay Black man elected to office in Texas 2021-06-06|
- On June 5, Jalen McKee-Rodriguez was elected to represent District 2 for the San Antonio City Councilmaking him the first openly gay Black man elected to any office in Texas history, KEN5.com reported. McKee-Rodriguez, 26, defeated ...
|National AIDS Memorial brings leaders of AIDS movement together to mark 40 years 2021-06-05|
--From a press release - San Francisco (Saturday, June 5, 2021) — Leaders of the AIDS movement came together in the National AIDS Memorial — the nation's federally-designated memorial to AIDS — to mark forty years since the first cases of ...
|Mayor Lori Lightfoot to kick off "A Legacy of Pride" June 7 2021-06-04|
--From a press release - The Legacy Project and Rep. Lamont Robinson will present "A Legacy of Pride" at Chicago's Legacy Walk Outdoor LGBTQ+ History Museum/Jane Addams Memorial, 3600 N. Halsted St. on June 7 at 10:30 a.m. Mayor Lori Lightfoot ...
|Wisconsin LGBTQ History fundraiser honors 60th anniversary of LGBTQ uprising 2021-06-01|
--From a press release - Milwaukee, WI - As Pride Month kicks off today across America, the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project is launching a campaign to celebrate the birthplace of "pride" in Wisconsin, recognize a turning point in local LGBTQ history, ...
|NATIONAL Press secretary, LGBTQ passings, poll results, Pride items 2021-05-30|
- Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made history as the first gay woman to lead a White House press briefing in the James S. Brady Briefing Room, and the second Black woman to do so, LGBTQ Nation ...
|Remembering Kay "Tobin" Lahusen 2021-05-29|
- Much of LGBTQ history, and history in general, has been lost. Even after photography was invented, the lens (and pen) was often directed subjectively, documenting what the mainstream media thought were the significant moments of the ...
|Thompson Coburn LLP hosts virtual tea with history-making Judge Jill Rose Quinn 2021-05-29|
- Thompson Coburn LLP hosted a Citywide Pride virtual tea event May 26 that featured Cook County Circuit Court Judge Jill Rose Quinn. Quinn made history last November when she became Illinois' first transgender elected official. She ...
|Loving: The Exhibition, A Photographic History of Men in Love 1850s-1950s 2021-05-18|
--From a press release - Hogarth Worldwide (https://www.hogarthww.com), world leader in creative production, will host the inaugural exhibition for LOVING. A Photographic History of Men in Love in their 30,000 square foot facility in midtown ...
|Tina Turner, The Go-Go's among 2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees 2021-05-12|
- The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame revealed its 2021 inductees, calling this class "the most diverse list of inductees in the history of the organization." In the Performer category, inductees include The Go-Go's, Tina Turner, ...
|TELEVISION Jasmine Davis returns to 'The Chi' 2021-05-11|
- Actress Jasmine Davis has a past history with Chicago, Illinois that continues into the future. Growing up in the Windy City has certainly paid off for the transgender performer throughout her career. After attending Kenwood High ...
|Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world 2021-05-05|
- Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...