New! Striking Out Against the Conspiracy of Silence: 1970s LGBTQ Campus Organizing in the Michigan Student Press
Curated by Tim Retzloff. “‘Striking Out Against the Conspiracy of Silence’: 1970s LGBTQ Campus Organizing in the Michigan Student Press” offers a selection of fifty texts drawn from student-run newspapers at ten public universities and one private college in Michigan from 1960 to 1986. These unmined materials provide a distinctive student lens on key developments of gay liberation, lesbian-feminism, emerging queer visibility, uneven progress, and persistent backlash as they made their mark on the Midwest. Together these sources welcome new interrogations of student history, Michigan history, the histories of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, and queer pasts.
New! “Are They Really?” Queer Life at Mills College, 1900-1980
Curated by Lisa Arellano. “Are They Really?” Queer Life at Mills College, 1900-1980 contains documents about the diverse history of queerness at a women’s college in California. The exhibit’s thirty-three primary documents include archival photographs, student scrapbooks, campus ephemera, and student yearbooks. The introductory essay considers the challenges of detecting both queerness and normativity in college archival collections. The project was created during a semester-long undergraduate practicum course and is Queer Pasts’ first collaboratively produced exhibit.
Sodomites and Gender Transgressors in 1840s New York
Curated by Marc Stein. This exhibit examines newspaper reports about Sodom, sodomy, sodomites, and gender transgressors in 1840s New York. The introductory essay addresses questions about whether these sources, most of which condemned the city’s sodomites, provide strong evidence of early same-sex sexual subcultures in the United States. The essay also examines references to age, class, gender, nationality, race, and religion in press reports about sodomites and compares the media coverage of sodomites to contemporary media reports about gender transgressors.
Are There Really Only Two Asian Lesbians in Chicago?: Queer Asian Visibility and Community Formation in Chicago, 1980s-1990s
Curated by Laura Sachiko Fugikawa.This collection focuses on the creation of queer Asian organizations in Chicago during the 1980s and 1990s. A series of articles in Chicago’s LGBTQ newspaper, Outlines: The Voice of the Gay and Lesbian Community, and self-published organizational newsletters were important tools to increase queer Asian visibility, address the issues queer Asians felt were most critical, and serve as outreach for newly formed organizations. Items in this collection provide insight into why queer Asian groups formed during this time period and how individuals came together to create multi-ethnic, queer Asian organizations.
"A Revealment Most Sensational": Eleven Stories of Trans Lives in the United States, 1878-1914
Curated by Emily Skidmore. This exhibit explores eleven cases of individuals who were assigned female at birth and who lived as men in the United States between 1878 and 1914. With an emphasis on newspaper stories, this exhibit is a rich resource to understand the ways in which Americans thought about gender, sexuality, the characteristics of men and women, and the permeability of gender boundaries around the turn of the twentieth century. These stories provide ample evidence of the long history of gender transgression in the United States—a history which, as this exhibit points out, took place in both large cities and rural outposts.
AIDS Knows No Borders: Protesting the US Ban on HIV-Positive Migrants, 1990-1993
Curated by Karma R. Chávez. This exhibit features ephemera related to two instances of transnational organizing in which AIDS activists in New York and San Francisco played significant roles: (1) the boycott and protests against the 1990 and 1992 International AIDS Conferences, and (2) activism for Haitian refugees detained on Guantánamo Bay from 1991 to 1993 because the US government claimed they had HIV. These materials help us to understand the strategies that groups of AIDS activists who were largely accustomed to addressing their own life and death concerns in a domestic context used to activate audiences in defense of people who lived or originated outside of US national borders.
Reclamation Projects: An Archive of Queer Latinidad, 1850-1921
Curated by Pablo Mitchell. This collection takes an expansive view of the history of queer Latinidad in the United States, drawing on a wide array of archival sources ranging from legal records and census documents to personal letters and newspaper articles. The documents assembled here reflect the considerable diversity of the U.S. Latinx community in the 19th and early 20th centuries as Latin American and Caribbean immigrants to the East Coast and Florida joined the country's long-standing Mexican-descent population in the United States.
Power, Politics, and Race in the 1968 Philadelphia Study of Prison Sexual Violence
Curated by Marc Stein. This exhibit focuses on a groundbreaking 1968 study of same-sex sexual violence in Philadelphia’s male prisons. The explosive report addressed racial dynamics, situational homosexuality, masculinity crises, and the causes of sexual violence. The exhibit’s primary sources include the 1968 Davis study, mainstream and LGBT media articles, and transcripts of U.S. Senate hearings. The introductory essay situates the Davis study in its time and place, discusses the media coverage, describes the responses of government officials and social scientists, and provides suggestions about how to interpret the primary sources.