CLAGS Celebrates Five Fellowship Awards

In a field where people often have such a hard time finding support for their work and ideas, CLAGS has been working to create opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students and scholars. Last year, the supporters of CLAGS fellowships contributed more than $25,000, which meant that this year CLAGS could offer three new fellowships: the CLAGS fellowship, the James D. Woods III fellowship, and the Passing-the-Torch award. More than 70 scholars applied or were nominated for this year’s fellowships, the broadest and most accomplished pool in the history of CLAGS fellowships. We kicked off the campaign for next year’s funds, and celebrated this year’s winners at a party at the David Beitzel Gallery on May 1.

CLAGS is supporting the work of scholars all over the country who are working on glbtq issues that are local, national, and international. The winner of this year’s Duberman award is Larry Knopp . He is studying the influences of space and geography on the development of sexual cultures in Duluth, Minnesota and Seattle. Similarly, one of the honorable mentions for the CLAGS Fellowship, Fred Fejes, is examining the effects of a 1977 referendum in Dade County, Florida, in which voters overturned a statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. CLAGS encourages scholars who are reevaluating national culture and history such as this year’s CLAGS fellowship winner, Anne Enke. Enke’s project examines race and sexuality as factors in social organization, in particular in lesbian softball leagues. The other CLAGS Fellowship honorable mention is Mary Bernstein , whose work examines the role of lgbtq identities in political campaigns. CLAGS also supports scholars who work internationally — the honorable mentions for the Duberman award this year were Deb Amory for her work on lesbian and gay lives in East Africa and North America and James Green , who is writing a comprehensive history of the lgbtq movement in Brazil.

CLAGS works especially hard to find innovative ways to support young and emerging scholars. One of our new awards is for a graduate student — The James D. Woods, III fellowship is named in honor of Jim Woods, a teacher and mentor who taught at the College of Staten Island. This year the first Woods dissertation award went to James Polchin, to support work on his dissertation on the subject of how, from the depression to the cold war, gay and lesbian people were regularly portrayed as either victims or perpetrators of violence.

Finally, year marks the first Passing-the-Torch award, which collects the support of prominent scholars in the field to recognize the achievements of an emerging scholar. In its inaugural year, CLAGS is proud to honor Darren Hutchinson, a legal scholar, whose forthcoming book, tentatively titled Out Yet Unseen: Race, Sexuality, and the Politics of Law, considers the significance of the relationship between racial subordination and heterosexism, and Richard Meyer, an art historian at work on his first book, Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth Century American Art.