New England roundup #19

1890 John Singer Sargent painting of Henry Cabot Lodge (cc photo by cliff1066)
1890 John Singer Sargent painting of Henry Cabot Lodge (cc photo by cliff1066)

Some miscellany from the past few weeks:

About this feature: Each week, I compile recent articles and other items relating to New England’s history, its regional identity, and its future. If you come across something interesting or relevant, please submit it for inclusion in a future post. Click here for previous roundups.

Archives and online collections in U.S. LGBT history

(cc photo by library riot)
(cc photo by library riot)

This post accompanies a talk I’m giving today about my current research at Cornell’s Human Sexuality Collection. I’ll be speaking about my dissertation, with a focus on its gay and lesbian history component and how LGBT archival collections will help me to answer the questions I’m asking.

Here, I wanted to offer those attending the talk, as well as those following along at home, some links to archives I’ll be mentioning. I’ve also listed some useful digital resources for studying the LGBT past. Find it all after the jump. Continue reading “Archives and online collections in U.S. LGBT history”

New England roundup #18

Sticker in Brattleboro train station advertising Amtrak's Vermonter service
Sticker in Brattleboro train station advertising Amtrak's Vermonter service

This week’s roundup comes to you from beautiful Newfane, Vermont.

  • The Courant examines the economic impact of same-sex marriage in Connecticut. One argument: the state is better positioned to draw out-of-state couples than others in New England, due to Connecticut’s centrality and the lack of a waiting period for marriage licenses.
  • When I started this feature, I didn’t really expect that the fishing industry would feature so prominently in it. At any rate, here’s an interesting write-up of a panel at a recent chef’s conference in Boston on the tensions between “local” and “sustainable” in New England’s fisheries.
  • The Maine Historical Society hosted a talk this week by Colby’s David M. Freidenreich on Maine’s Jewish history. The talk announcement points to Documenting Maine Jewry, described as “a collaborative genealogy and history of Maine’s Jewish communities,” which features dozens of photographs and oral histories.

About this feature: Each week, I compile recent articles and other items relating to New England’s history, its regional identity, and its future. If you come across something interesting or relevant, please submit it for inclusion in a future post. Click here for previous roundups.

Back into the archives

After a stop in Vermont over the weekend, I’m about to embark on two dissertation research trips, first to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, and then to Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell.

This will be the first extended archival research I’ve done since I’ve started blogging and tweeting regularly, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share some first impressions from the archives.

Balancing new and old modes of scholarly communication, I’ll also be doing an informal presentation on my research during each trip. So if you’re in the neighborhood and so inclined, you can find me:

  • talking about “The Women’s Movement and the Struggle for Fair Representation in Mass Entertainment” at a brown bag lunch on October 15 at noon in the first floor conference room at the Schlesinger, and
  • speaking about my research in the HSC’s GLAAD and Gay Media Task Force papers on October 19 at 4:30 pm in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies office in Uris Hall at Cornell.

“All history really up to now has been written by straight historians”

Some history not written by straight historians
Some history not written by straight historians

Earlier this week, the Arts Beat blog at the New York Times published excerpts of Patrick Healy’s interview with Larry Kramer about Kramer’s 4,000-page The American People project—“envisioned as a national history of homosexuality” and now, apparently, forthcoming in 2012 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, in what the publisher terms a two-volume “work of fiction.”

Kramer’s a complex and important figure. (The essays in the collection We Must Love One Another or Die make that clear, as does this fascinating 2009 New York magazine profile.) A single blog post does not provide nearly enough space to grapple with him satisfactorily. But the Times interview does prompt me to comment briefly on the American People project and the reception it’s already receiving.

Kramer has elaborated elsewhere on some of the project’s conclusions. One seems to be that just about any famous white male historical personage you can think of (George Washington, Meriwether Lewis, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Pierce) was “gay”; another, that queer theory and gender studies are essentially useless.

I and many others think these conclusions are, respectively, dramatically oversimplified and simply incorrect. Continue reading ““All history really up to now has been written by straight historians””

New England roundup #17

UConn football players of yesteryear (Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, UConn Athletic Game Films collection)
UConn football players of yesteryear (Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, UConn Athletic Game Films collection)

About this feature: Each week, I compile recent articles and other items relating to New England’s history, its regional identity, and its future. If you come across something interesting or relevant, please submit it for inclusion in a future post. Click here for previous roundups.