CLAGS announces planning for Futures of the Field

In the spring of 2001, CLAGS will hold a major national
conference called Futures of the Field: LGBTQ Students
and Studies in the 21st Century. Our intention is to
bring together gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/queer
student and academic communities to consider
questions about the intellectual development of the
field, and at the same time, to think about student
organizations, support for students, university
communities, and broader communities. In organizing
this conference, we plan to work with the National Gay
and Lesbian Task Force, the Gay Lesbian Straight
Education Network (GLSEN), the Hetrick Martin
Institute, the National Consortium of Directors of
LGBTQ Resources in Higher Education, and the many
other institutions, scholars, and activists working in
these areas. To encourage people working in the field,
we will be awarding three prizes as part of the
conference to an outstanding student organization, to an
outstanding teacher or mentor in the field, and to a
university doing important work in a LGBTQ
community. CLAGS has received some support from the
Gill Foundation, and the Richard Nathan
Anti-Homophobia Trusts for this conference.

The conference will examine education and educational
policy from secondary school through graduate school

  • The state of departments and concentrations in
    universities across the country. Professors and
    administrators will give their perspectives on whether
    or not we’re actually gaining ground. This is an issue of
    vital importance, because the presence of LGBTQ
    Studies on campuses is the way that hundreds of
    thousands of students across the country get exposure to
    LGBTQ history. It’s where they first hear about LGBTQ
    contributions to society, and first understand sexuality as
    an important component of understanding the world
    around them.
  • The state of student/activist groups on
    campuses, and the rise of anti-gay violence. This set of
    concerns builds on what the National Gay and Lesbian
    Task Force began at the 1998 Creating Change
  • Practical support for the work. Another thing
    that is rarely integrated into academic conferences are
    the practical philanthropic questions that are so much a
    part of the lives of non-profit organizations. It is our
    hope to put together a panel that reflects a diversity of
    interests, and be useful to all the participants at the
  • The possible futures of the academic work itself.
    Where is the field going? What are the new disciplines and
    interdisciplines out there? What are vital areas of study for
    both academic and political reasons? What future
    conferences will be needed? At the heart of the conference
    will be these questions about strategies and possibilities. We
    want to raise questions about the work itself, with several
    panels focusing on different disciplines, and experts tracing
    out current work and delving into the future. We also feel it
    is important to explore the relationship to other disciplines
    and other kinds of minority study, and to build bridges to
    Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Diaspora
    Studies, African-American Studies, Asian-American Studies,
    Disability Studies, and Latino/a and Hispanic Studies.
  • The relationship between universities and
    government over LGBTQ minority studies. We have seen in
    the last couple of years that the universities are one of the
    first places to bear the brunt of conservative reactions against
    changing social mores. Academics find themselves in a
    relatively new position of learning to create political
  • The new possibilities of technology. It is commonly
    understood now that the web, computerization, databases,
    and the information revolution, are having a profound
    impact on both academic work and political organization.
    However, the effects of new technology on the intersection
    of politics and academics has not been thoroughly discussed
    anywhere, although there is important work being done in
    this area. This would be the first conference to think about
    these issues from LGBTQ perspectives on a national level.

If you are interested in participating in the planning process,
submitting papers for consideration, or attending the
conference, please contact the CLAGS office at
212.817.1955 or email us at