OutHistory Fellowship Winners (2008-2009)
Joey Plaster is a freelance journalist and independent scholar. His proposed exhibit, “The Polk Gulch History Project,” will feature oral history interviews with residents of this San Francisco neighborhood. Plaster argues that the Polk Gulch has been a national destination “for some of the most underrepresented segments of the queer community” including homeless youth, Asian and Latin American immigrants, poor transgendered women, and seniors. As gentrification is currently displacing Polk Gulch’s queer residents, Plaster’s project is urgently needed to document their histories and preserve their voices. With the support of the California Council for the Humanities, Plaster has already completed roughly fifty oral histories. The OutHistory fellowship will allow Plaster to expand his project using material at San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society, newspapers, diaries and transcriptions of interviews conducted in the 1980s.
Tristan Cabello is a Ph.D. candidate in Northwestern University’s History Department. Cabello’s proposed exhibit “Queer Bronzeville: An Exhibit on Race, Homosexuality and Urban Boundaries in Chicago”, will cover fifty years of history in this predominately black neighborhood. Cabello contends that beginning in the 1930s a “visible and well-accepted queer culture” emerged in Bronzeville. While queers were accommodated in Bronzeville until the late 1940s, they were increasingly persecuted as they became more politically organized. In the midst of the AIDS crisis, they were ignored by both the African American and white-dominated gay media. Cabello will use his OutHistory fellowship to gather materials from archives at the Schomburg Center for African American Research, the GLBT Historical Society, the Library of Congress and Yale University.
Student Travel Award Winner (2008)
Roberto C. Ferrari, a History Student at the CUNY Graduate Center, was granted the Fall 2008 Student Travel Award for presentation of his paper Channeling (Ant)Eros: John Gibson’s Queer Sculpture at the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference held at Yale University on November 14-16, 2008. In his paper, Ferrari examined some of John Gibson’s classical subjects, such as the group Mars Restrained by Cupid (c.1820) and single figures such as Love Tormenting the Soul (1839). He used Gibson’s own writings on ancient Greek love and art to contextualize how Gibson used his neoclassical origins to adumbrate the burgeoning homosexual identity seen in later Victorian art.