Doing Queer Studies Now and the American History Workshop present

“Is All Gay Politics Local? Postwar Urban History and Spatial Scale”

A public lecture by Timothy Stewart-Winter

Assistant Professor of History, Rutgers–Newark
Friday, October 24
12:30-2 pm
1014 Tisch Hall

For half a century after its founding in the early 1950s, the American gay movement grew in the soil of big-city politics. Indeed, until recently nearly all of the gay movement’s successes occurred at the state and local level, largely out of sight of political historians who strongly emphasized the centrality of the federal government in American life since the New Deal era. As urban gay communities swelled with newly out and newly arrived gay migrants, their need for protection from police harassment and job discrimination produced a realignment in their politics. By the 1990s, in municipalities where politicians had only recently sought political advantage from raiding gay bars, they instead came to pursue gay and lesbian voters aggressively as a potential voting bloc. This lecture will trace the rise of gay politics in urban America and point to some of its implications for understanding the relationship between local and national histories.

Please join us later that afternoon for an informal roundtable discussion about sexual politics and urban space.

Sex and the City

Featuring Timothy Stewart-Winter, Timothy Retzloff, and Gayle Rubin
3-5 pm
1014 Tisch Hall

Timothy Stewart-Winter is an Assistant Professor of History at Rutgers–Newark. His book manuscript, Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics, is forthcoming in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series of the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Timothy Retzloff teaches at Michigan State University. He received his PhD in History from Yale University in 2014 with a dissertation titled “City, Suburb, and the Changing Bounds of Lesbian and Gay Life and Politics in Metropolitan Detroit, 1945-1985.”

Gayle Rubin is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. Rubin’s first book, Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader (Duke, 2011), collects almost four decades of her scholarship in feminist and queer studies. Her forthcoming book is titled Valley of the Kings: Leathermen in San Francisco, 1960-1990.