A Brief History of CLAGS

More than four years ago, in May 1985, a group of lesbian and gay scholars, including academics and independent researchers, began meeting to plan a center that would encourage research, exchange, and public educational programs in the interdisciplinary field of lesbian and gay studies.

The founding members realized that the amount of work in this field was rapidly growing and that a formal, university-affiliated center for lesbian and gay studies was needed both to help legitimize such work in the minds of other academics and to provide critically-needed support to scholars working – often in great isolation – throughout the country.

We have instituted a board of directors to organize the Center and are putting together an advisory board of distinguished scholars and community leaders.

We have also approached the CUNY Graduate School, which is already home to numerous interdisciplinary research centers, and are meeting regularly with the administration about the formal mechanisms for establishing such a Center. The Graduate Center has been quite hospitable to our proposal, but has informed us that, given current budgetary restraints, we will have to raise our own operating budget before we can receive official status.

The Board has therefore devoted itself to two major projects: organizing some of the programs that will ultimately be the core of a formal center (see accompanying articles), and raising the thousands of dollars required.