Director’s Report

Your response to our becoming a membership organization has been extremely gratifying to everyone connected with CLAGS. We’re told the usual direct mail appeal brings in a one to three percent return; ours was close to 15 percent! We take this as a resounding vote of confidence in the work we’ve been doing~ and we thank you for it. Not that we’re satisfied ~ either with how much we’ve been able to do, or with having a thousand members. We want to expand the CLAGS rolls sti ll further, and to that end, we ask you to share your copies of the newsletter~ and the enclosed membership form ~ with colleagues and friends who seem likely candidates for enrol lment. We’re asking for your help in this regard because we want further to extend the level of our activity. We hear on all sides that for a new organization especially, we’ve done a remarkable amount by way of conferences, colloquia, and fellowships. But our ambitions are higher still ~ appropriately so, given the extent of the need out there. Gay and lesbian studies may indeed be a burgeoning field, but it remains a woefully underfunded one. As more and more young lesbian and gay scholars enter the field, putting their careers in academia in jeopardy (yes, homophobia is alive and well on the country’s campuses), they can’t even turn to traditional funding sources to help them pursue their unorthodox research. We feel a huge responsibility to these young scholars. On their shoulders rests the future of the field – and thus to a real extent, the ability to change public understanding about our lives (and, through that, change legislation and court opinions as well). We want to do everything we can to surround these emerging scholars with research funding, networks of contact, and venues in which to present their work and exchange ideas. You’ve already demonstrated your strong support for these goals, and we’re confident you’ll stick with us in the struggle to push still harder against the boundaries.