On Friday, I will be attending my first real academic conference—and giving my first talk—ever! It’s at the Ohio State University this Friday and Saturday, and it’s called Queer Places, Practices, and Lives: A Symposium in Honor of Samuel Steward. Samuel Steward was a fascinating person and an OSU grad, who was at the center of gay identity formation in mid-20th-century America in a way analogous to how Symonds was at the center of homosexual/Uranian identity formation in 1870s-90s Britain. The conference features a bevy of panels and plenaries on all sorts of aspects of queer identity construction in history and in the present, in addition to attendant methodological questions about discovering and preserving queer histories.
I’ll be speaking at 9am on Friday on a very cool panel that will be taking a variety of disciplinary perspectives to queer masculinities. I’ll be talking about Symonds’ life and work in relation to methodological issues that arise at the intersection of the history of sexuality/queerness and intellectual (and other forms of) history, and I hope that it’s going to be a lively conversation. Should you, dear reader, by any chance happen to be in the area, I’d love to see you there!
Finishing undergrad is a strange, special, and difficult time, about which I hope I’ll have the energy and the inspiration to write in the couple weeks (!) between now and graduation. But until then, it’s time to sit my last exam, and then fly to Ohio.