LGBTQ+ History of the US: 1800 to the Present

LGBTQ+ History of the US: 1800 to the Present

Led by: Prof. Stephen Vider (University of Connecticut)
Course Number: AMHI 668
Semesters: Fall 2023



Image: Flyer detailing Harvey Milk’s campaign platforms for supervisor, 1977 (The Gilder Lehrman Institute, GLC09871.03)

Handout for Harvey Milk's campaign for supervisor
  • New for Fall 2023

Course Description

This course traces the history of LGBTQ+ identities, relationships, communities, and politics in the United States from the late eighteenth century to the present, with a primary focus on the twentieth century. We will consider, in particular, the changing meanings and terminologies of sexual and gender variance; shifting forms of queer and trans romantic relationships, home, and family; the emergence and policing of queer and trans communities, as shaped especially by class and race; and the evolution of LGBTQ+ activism and its intersections with broader movements for social and economic justice. The course will consider more broadly how bringing a queer and trans lens to US social and political history shifts our attention to everyday intimate life as a site of oppression and resistance. Students will read and analyze a range of historical scholarship as well as primary texts in the history of gender and sexuality including memoirs and letters, periodicals, photographs, and political manifestos.

Lecture Preview

Lecture 1: “Love, Friendship, and Queer Marriage in Early America”

About the Scholar

Stephen Vider, Associate Professor of History, University of Connecticut

Stephen Vider is associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut. His research examines the social practices and politics of everyday life in the twentieth-century United States, with a focus on intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. He is the author of The Queerness of Home: Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of Domesticity after World War II (2021), which traces how American conceptions of the home have shaped LGBTQ relationships and politics from 1945 to the present. He has also contributed to a range of public history projects, including the exhibition AIDS at Home: Art and Everyday Activism, which he curated for the Museum of the City of New York in 2017.