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Posts by Claire Potter

Job | Virginia Commonwealth University | Deadline 2017.11.01

BY ON August 8, 2017

The Department of History at Virginia Commonwealth University invites applications for a tenure-eligible assistant professor position in Modern LGBTQ history, with a preferred specialization in oral history. This position is one of three tenure-eligible searches in LGBTQ Studies taking place in a range of disciplinary settings during the academic year 2017-18 as a major hiring initiative in the College of Humanities and Sciences to strengthen LGBTQ scholarship and course offerings at VCU. These three new hires will work alongside other faculty with expertise in LGBTQ topics across the College and the University to expand VCU’s LGBTQ-related curriculum, research profile, and community engagement efforts. The successful candidate must have proof that all requirements for Ph.D. are complete prior to August 1, 2018, will have a clearly defined research agenda, and will demonstrate potential for scholarship and teaching that complements and expands existing expertise in the department. The successful candidate will demonstrate experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment, or show a commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU.


Randall Sell Joins OutHistory as a Co-Director

BY ON June 29, 2017

Randall Sell

We are pleased to announce that Randall Sell, an associate professor of community health at Temple University, has agreed to join OutHistory’s leadership team, effective immediately.

Randall has contributed to OutHistory over the years, and helped us in our recent fund-raising drive. He is currently writing a book on the history of how LGBT folk have used science to gain civil rights.  I am also managing a project for the University of Pennsylvania documenting the history (200+ years) of gays at Penn.  Recently, he contributed to the creation of an AIDS Oral History of Philadelphia.

“I have been working with sexual and gender minority populations and conducting research with these populations for 30 years,” he tells us. “Most of this work has focused on improving research methods but the work has also produced information on their health and has been used to advocate for additional research. From the very beginning of this work I became interested in the history of research on these populations and I have collected originals and copies of many of the earliest works. I have also studied the greater sociopolitical context within which this research was conducted and observed how it has changed in my own lifetime.”



Prizes | CLGBTH 2018 Alan Bérubé Prize

BY ON June 14, 2017

Alan Berube (Courtesy of the Sullivan County Democrat)

The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History will award the Allan Bérubé Prize in 2018.

The Allan Bérubé Prize will be awarded for outstanding work in public or community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history completed in 2016 or 2017. The Bérubé Prize is underwritten by the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco. Learn more here.

Activists, students, faculty, authors, readers, editors, or publishers can nominate. Self- nominations are encouraged. Please submit a cover letter of no more than three pages describing the project and how it reflects outstanding work in public or community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history. Depending on the type of project, submissions may also include supplementary materials like videos, links to websites, exhibition catalogs, etc. Questions can be addressed to prize committee chair, Jennifer Tyburczy.

2018 Prize Committee:

* Josh Burford, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, joshburford74@gmail.com

* Katherine Ott, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, ottk@si.edu

* Jennifer Tyburczy, University of California, Santa Barbara, jtyburczy@femst.ucsb.edu

Emailed submissions must be sent by 11:59pm (Pacific time), 1 October 2017.Supplemental materials (DVDs, exhibition materials, etc.) may be sent to committee members; please contact them for postal addresses. These materials must also be postmarked by October 1, 2017.

Winners will be announced at the Committee on LGBT History’s annual reception at the 2018 American Historical Association conference in Washington, DC.

Allen-Berenson Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies | Deadline 12.15.2016

BY ON November 2, 2016

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Brandeis University invites applications in the field of sexuality studies for its two-year Allen-Berenson Postdoctoral Fellowship. We welcome candidates in the social sciences and humanities whose research contributes to an intersectional and interdisciplinary understanding of gender, race-ethnicity, class and sexuality. Expertise in studies of violence, masculinity, and/or immigration would be especially welcome.

The successful candidate will teach one course each semester and participate in the scholarly life of the faculty. We expect candidates can teach students the connections between the most urgent issues confronting the world by employing gender, feminist and other critical theories. In the second year the candidate will give a public lecture. Candidates are expected to have completed the Ph.D by August 2017.

Please submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, a sample of your scholarly work, and three letters of recommendation via this portal.  To be considered, applications should be submitted by December 15, 2016.

Brandeis recognizes that diversity in its student body, staff and faculty is important to its primary mission of providing a quality education. The search committee is therefore particularly interested in candidates who, through their research, teaching and/or service experiences, will increase Brandeis’ reputation for academic excellence and better prepare its students for a pluralistic society. Brandeis University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and strongly encourages applications from women and minority candidates.

What LGBT Digital Public History Requires

BY ON October 26, 2016

image001On Friday, October 21, the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning at CUNY Grad Center celebrated its 35th anniversary. As part of hte celebration, I participated in a roundtable about the achievements, and future challenges, of public history. These were my remarks.

First of all, Happy Birthday, American Social History Project, a collective scholarly effort that led the way in bringing social history’s commitments, not just into the mainstream of the historical profession, but also into the K-12 classroom. I think it’s reasonable to say that without ASHP, public policy interventions like California’s FAIR Act, that mandates LGBT history in secondary education, would have been far less likely.  We would also know a great deal less than we do about how to transform the conversation about the history curriculum at all levels of education, and how to implement necessary changes. ASHP was a pioneer in the creation of digital resources that brought state of the art history to broad audiences. ASHP’s effort to put a ground-breaking textbook, Who Built America, in conversation with digital archives, helped to conserve the historical profession’s commitments to critical thinking, and to teaching students how to make arguments drawn from primary sources. Establishing itself in the 1980s and 1990s, our colleagues made an enormous contribution at a moment in history when high stakes testing based on so-called “content delivery” began to transform the landscape of the humanities and social studies.

As a young historian interested in women’s history and the history of sexuality, I had a front row seat while this was happening. In the 1980s, I was a graduate student at NYU, in a history department that had fine archives and public history programs, as well as a cadre of graduate students vitally interested in the women’s and LGBT history projects that were emerging from the social hisstory movement. For a time, I was also part of the Radical History Review collective, and all of these groups overlapped.

I never became a real public historian: I have to emphasize this to people all the time, because the increased association between public history and digital history, in which I now engage and that ASHP promoted, increasingly muddles the two – particularly in the minds of administrators. But my friends were public historians. Between those friends and the osmosis that naturally occurred as we all migrated between Columbia, CUNY, Rutgers and NYU, public history had a great impact on those of us in the emerging fields of women’s history and the history of sexuality. The public history commitment to change through uncovering a past and making it accessible was never distant from the projects I, or we, took up as we established ourselves in the profession. And I think public history has proliferated in ways it did not anticipate at its moment of origin: in blogging, particularly feminist and queer history blogging; podcasting; and in the emergence of #twitterstorians, who chronicle the present, create historical narratives on the web, and tweet conferences like this one.

So what remains to be done – other than getting rid of high stakes testing? First on my list, as a co-Director of OutHistory.org, where I have finally assumed a role as a public historian, would be digital literacy. This is a project in which I am engaged at the Digital Humanities Initiative at The New School, where OutHistory.org is currently based. One of the things I have learned since we launched the DHI is that the assumptions of digital practitioners and the ambitions of administrators to support public scholarship are profoundly at odds with the proficiency of most faculty and students to conceive or engage either digital pedagogies or publicly engaged digital projects. If you don’t know what you don’t know, creating the intellectual architecture for a digital public history project, even from the simplest tools, is difficult to impossible. Learning from one may be equally difficult, because of DH’s non-linear qualities. In addition, the problem with moving scholarship to the Internet, as many of us know, is that questions of accessibility are quite different and engage fields well beyond history: broadband access, universal design, reading practices, the capacity and durability of tools all have to be addressed to create a truly public project. None of these skills are routinely taught in history graduate programs.

The second is that queer digital projects need to be in better conversation with each other, and learn better how to support each other. In fact, I would like to see a major digital summit that brings all public history practitioners and digital historians together for a week to assess and refresh our collective practice and resources. ASHP has been consistently at the forefront of digital history practice, and its members and fellow travelers wrote some of the earliest and most important books about digital history practice and designing for the history web. Yet the digital requires particular acts of preservation and, most importantly, revision that too many of us are either not good at, uninterested in, or have no time for because we are moving towards our next project, grant or book. These acts of revision range from refreshing important early texts that have become outdated because of advances in technology, to routine maintenance of the kind that all platforms and sites require, to keeping up with new devices that change the way that people access web content. At OutHistory.org, part of our public history mission is to engage youth, who tend not to sit in front of computers, but use mobile devices. Thus, those of us who learned to design for the web as recently as ten years ago, now need to retool to design for iPhones and Galaxies. We may need to design for apps to truly keep up.

Which brings me to my final, and most important, point: most of us are in desperate need of money. We at OutHistory.org believe ourselves to be engaged in a public history project that may even save lives: suicide rates among LGBT youth are astronomical, as is homelessness, addiction and unemployment. It is a long standing premise of LGBT social history projects that we not only preserve and uncover, but use history to reach out to our brothers and sisters who are marginalized and oppressed because of race, age, nationality, gender and class. But although LGBT foundation and social justice funding has made the turn from marriage to youth outreach, they aren’t particularly interested in funding history. And frankly, public history – whether digital or not – is expensive. So at this 35 year birthday we want to look back at our successes – and we will want to work with practitioners across the profession to make the arguments that can take our scholarship and activism to the next level.

Even small donations suppot our work. If you want to donate to OutHistory.org, please click this link.

Gay Gotham | Museum of the City of New York | 10.7.2016

BY ON September 20, 2016

Disco-BallGay Gotham: Art and Underground Culture in New York is opening at The Museum of the City of New York on October 7. Stephen Vider and Donald Albrecht, co-curators of the exhibit,  also have a book of the same name available for pre-order on Amazon. 

The exhibit and book explore the lives, works, and networks of ten LGBT artists across the 20th century — Harlem Renaissance writer Richard Bruce Nugent; lesbian poet and playwright Mercedes de Acosta; ballet impresario Lincoln Kirstein; photographer George Platt Lynes; composer Leonard Bernstein; artist Andy Warhol; photographer Robert Mapplethorpe; lesbian feminist artist Harmony Hammond; transgender artist Greer Lankton; and dancer/choreographer Bill T. Jones. It also examines the broader cultural world around them, with additional original works, including photographs by Carl Van Vechten; Charles Henri Ford’s copy of The Young and Evil, with drawings by Pavel Tchelitchew; one of Beauford Delaney’s portraits of James Baldwin; Larry Rivers’s portrait of Frank O’Hara; photographs of WOW Cafe performers by Eva Weiss; Chantal Regnault’s photographs of Octavia St. Laurent, Willi Ninja, and others from the house ballroom scene; as well as video, music, and poetry read by Carmelita Tropicana, Moe Angelos, and Rodney Evans.

You can read a little more about the exhibit in the New York Times. Tickets are available for the opening event, a discussion on the past and future of LGBTQ New York featuring Sarah Schulman, Jack Waters, Peter Cramer, and Harmony Hammond, and moderated by Slate editor Bryan Lowder,  at 6 pm October 6.


Call for Nominations | CLGBTH Boswell & Nestle Prizes

BY ON September 20, 2016

prizesThe Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender History calls for nominations for its 2017 John Boswell and Joan Nestle Prizes.

The John Boswell Prize is awarded to an outstanding book on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history published in English in 2015 or 2016. Learn more here.

The Joan Nestle Undergraduate Prize is awarded to an outstanding paper on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history completed in English by an undergraduate student in 2015 or 2016. Learn more here.

Students, faculty, authors, readers, editors, or publishers can nominate. Self-nominations are encouraged. For John Boswell Prize-nominated books, authors/editors should work with publishers to mail one copy to each member of the Prize Committee. If books are due to be published in the final months of 2016, PDFs of page proofs may be submitted via email in lieu of books. Please email PDFs of Joan Nestle Undergraduate Prize submissions to each committee member with the nominee’s name in the subject line. Questions can be addressed to prize committee chair, Phil Tiemeyer.

2017 Prize Committee:

*Phil Tiemeyer (Kansas State University). Department of History, 208 Eisenhower Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506 philtiemeyer@gmail.com

*Carson Emily Morris (University of New Mexico). Feminist Research Institute, MSC 03 2160, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 carsonmorris@gmail.com

*Afsaneh Najmabadi (Harvard University). 49 Irving Street, Apt. 3, Cambridge MA 02138 najmabad@fas.harvard.edu

Mailed submissions must be postmarked by 1 October 2016; emailed submissions must be postmarked by 11:59pm (Pacific time), 1 October 2016.

Winners will be announced at the Committee on LGBT History’s annual reception at the 2017 American Historical Association Conference in Denver.

In the Archives | Lesbian Herstory Archives Internships

BY ON December 17, 2015

From the LHA collections.

From the LHA collections.

The Lesbian Herstory Archives (located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC) is looking for graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in library and/or archives studies ​with a demonstrated interest in Lesbian Studies,​ Women’s ​History and​ ​LGBT ​Activism.
We have a number of exciting projects for the upcoming academic year​ working with video and audio collection cataloging, digitization and preservation​, metadata management, processing special collections and cataloging books and periodicals. There will also be the opportunity to plan exhibits or events and to attend workshops and classes.

​Interns will get to meet professionals in a wide variety of analogous fields and have many networking opportunities including site visits and guest lecturers.​

All internships at LHA are unpaid. Volunteers are always welcomed. Retirees are encouraged to apply.

What We’re Offering:

  • Interns will have the opportunity for practical application of archives and library skills.
  • Course credit and letters of recommendation​ or references​.
  • Interns will also receive the opportunity for​ experiences outside of LHA
  • Interns will be supervised by professional librarians and other archives staff​ who specialize in the fields of photography, archival practices, graphic design and non profit management.​


  • A demonstrated interest in ​Women’s Studies, Lesbian Studies, Women’s History (scholarship, activism, artistic expression)
  • Available for a minimum of ​16 hours per week​ (2 full week days)​.
  • ​Experience working in a Library​, Archive​, Museum or Historical Society environment.
  • Familiarity with ​library practices, ​cataloging and archival processing
  • Customer service experience​
  • Skilled in the use of MS Office and/or Google Docs​ in a Windows PC environment.
  • ​Completion of core library courses or at least 1 full semester of library school.
    Web development skills
  • ​Experience working with an online content management system


Periodicals​. Intern will process incoming newspapers, newsletters, journals and magazines, ​zines and ​update cataloging records ​as well as prepare collections for digitization where necessary.
Special Collections​ – ​Interns will process collections and create electronic finding aids, staff the reference desk and provide researcher assistance.
Photograph​y​ & Graphics​​. Interns will assist with the processing digitization and cataloging photographs and graphics.​
Video​ -​ Interns will process and catalog videos including relabeling and shifting collections.​ Interns will also assist with inventory, preservation and digitization projects​.
Audio​. Interns will assist with the cataloging, digitization, indexing and re-housing of audio tapes.
OPAC ​Development Team ​- Interns will perform database cleanup in a variety of collections and contribute to the design, testing and public launch of the LHA’s O​nline Public Access Catalog (OPAC).
Programming​ & ​Development​ -​ Interns will have the opportunity to research and write grants, create fundraising campaigns, write press releases, plan ​special ​events ​do outreach to the public.​


Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Please read the instructions below very carefully. Candidates must submit a:

Cover Letter (indicating​ ​relevant interests/activities and availability)
Resume ​ (indicating relevant skills and experience including academic work)

​Both documents must be converted to a PDF and submitted to ​ lha_interns@earthlink.net. Include the word “Internship” and ​semester for which you are applying in the subject line.
NOTE: LHA cannot provide housing for interns. LHA will provide confirmation of internship acceptance for candidates who may need this documentation to accompany a grant or fellowship application.

​​About The Lesbian Herstory Archives

In operation since 1974, ​​The Lesbian Herstory Archives is home to the world’s oldest and largest collection of archival, bibliographic and multimedia materials by and about the diverse lesbian experience.

LHA is, and has always been, an all-volunteer run, 501(c)3 , non-profit educational organization with no paid staff and no government support. We rely upon individual donations and private foundation support.

We offer research assistance to academics, artists, filmmakers authors, individuals and classes. We also provide tours, exhibits in-house events and a semester-long Lesbian Studies course. Our open hours are listed on our website in the “Calendar” section. Please visit us to browse, do research or volunteer any time we are open.​

What We’re Reading | Happy Holidays Edition

BY ON December 14, 2015

From Our Files | When Wimmin Stormed the MLA

BY ON December 10, 2015

In April, 1975, Ms. magazine reported on the progress women had made in storming the tweed bastions of the Modern Language Association’s Annual Meeting. “At this year’s convention,” Louise Bernikow wrote, “the programs about women novelists, women and power, and literature and homosexuaity drew the crowds. Male beards and pipes were there as usual, but it was the women, particularly radical lesbians and feminists, who emanated energy.” Click on the image below to read the rest of it!

Hauser April 75