Gayborhood and the Politics of Safe Spaces

A Conversation between Amin Ghaziani (There Goes the Gayborhood?, 2014) and Christina Hanhardt (Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence, 2013)

How do we understand LGBT community, urban politics, and space? What are the relationships between them? This conversation features two prominent scholar-activists whose latest books examine the complex dynamics between these relations. Together, they will contemplate the dominant and untold histories of the intimacies between LGBT identities and the city. Together, the Ghaziani and Hanhardt will query how and why the city has been and remains a key site in the organizing and imaginary of LGBT spaces as “safe spaces” for the community. Toward what effect does this configuration shape and limit the LGBT agenda? How might we reimagine these relations as gayborhoods seem to be on the decline? What future queer geographies can we reasonably anticipate? Moderated by Christopher Adam Mitchell (Rutgers University).

Speaker Bios:

Amin Ghaziani is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of a number of books, including A Decade of HAART: The Development and Global Impact of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, from Oxford University Press; The Dividends of Dissent: How Conflict and Culture Work in Lesbian and Gay Marches on Washington, from University of Chicago Press. This book was a 2009 Lammy finalist for Best Book in LGBT Studies; and most recently, There Goes the Gayborhood? which Princeton University Press published in August.  Dr. Ghaziani has devoted his career to study of sexuality. It is its social organization that piques his imagination. His research considers diverse topics that range from the measurement of urban sexual cultures to the role of infighting in the political mobilization of LGBT people to the spatial expressions of sexuality in a so-called “post-gay era.”  

Christina B. Hanhardt is Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence (Duke University Press, 2013), winner of the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for best book in LGBT Studies. She is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the CUNY Graduate Center for 2014-2015.

Christopher Adam Mitchell is a member of the History Department at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, where he is writing a dissertation entitled, “Condensed to the Point of Explosion”: Liber(aliz)ation, Structural Change, and the Changing Market Culture of New York City’s Queer Sub-Cultures, 1966-1987.” He regularly teaches queer history at both the New Brunswick and Newark campuses.

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