American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

LGBTQ+ Histories of the United States: Institute Faculty

Visiting Lecturers and Session Leaders

DeAnne Blanton retired from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC after 31 years of service as an archivist specializing in 19th century Army records and 19th century women’s history. Her first book, They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War, co-written with Lauren Cook, was published by Louisiana State University in 2002 and by Vintage the following year. She is a founding member of the Society for Women and the Civil War, and served as the first President of the organization. She has appeared in numerous Civil War and women’s history documentaries for cable channels and public broadcasting.

Stacie Brensilver Berman (she/her) is a faculty member in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. She is the author of LGBTQ+ History in High School Classes in the USA Since 1990 (2021).  She is also the co-author of “Teaching War Crimes in a Comparative Perspective” in Teaching Recent Global History (2014), “Teaching the Port Huron Statement” in Inspiring Participatory Democracy (2012), “The Civil Rights Movement” in Teaching US History (2010), and journal articles on using project based learning in social studies classes.  She has worked extensively with high school teachers on developing curriculum and navigating the challenges around introducing potentially controversial issues in classrooms, presenting at conferences throughout the United States and working individually with educators teaching topics including LGBTQ+ history, civil rights, students’ rights, and the women’s movement.  Prior to earning her doctorate, Brensilver Berman was a New York City Public School teacher for ten years.

Michael Bronski is an independent scholar, journalist, and writer who has been involved in social justice movements since the 1960s. He has been active in gay liberation as a political organizer, writer, editor, publisher and theorist since 1969. He is the author of numerous books. His Queer History of the United States won the 2011 Lambda Literary Award for Best Non-Fiction as well as the 2011 American Library Association Stonewall Israel Fishman Award for Best Non- Fiction. You Can Tell Just By Looking: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People (coauthored with Ann Pellegrini and Michael Amico) and Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics (coauthored with Kay Whitlock) – were both nominated for Lambda Literary awards. In 2019 he published A Queer History of the United States for Young People. In 1999 he won the Martin Duberman Fellowship from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at City University of New York, and the prestigious Stonewall Award from the Anderson Foundation that same year. He was awarded the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. Bronski is Professor of the Practice in Activism and Media in the Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality at Harvard University.

Julio Capó, Jr. is Associate Professor of History and Deputy Director of the Wolfsonian Public Humanities Lab at Florida International University. His first book, Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (UNC Press, 2017), received six honors, including the Charles S. Sydnor award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book written on the U.S. South. In 2019, he curated an award-winning exhibition for HistoryMiami Museum titled Queer Miami: A History of LGBTQ Communities. His work has appeared in top academic journals and, as a former journalist, his work has been published in mainstream media outlets, including Time, El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), The Miami Herald, and The Washington Post, where he now serves as an editor of its Made by History section. Capó has held fellowships at Yale University and the University of Sydney, and has been named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians. 

Gabriel S. Estrada (yehuat/i-, ze/zir) is Professor of Religious Studies at California State University, Long Beach and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Religious Traditions Unit of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Estrada is also author of “Deborah A. Miranda: The Erotics of Lesbian Native American Literature” in Postindian Aesthetics: Affirming Indigenous Literary Sovereignty; “Trans*lating the Genderqueer -x through Caxcan, Nahua, and Xicanx Indígena Knowledge” in Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities; and “Ojiwbe Lesbian Visual AIDS: On the Red Road with Carol laFavor, Her Giveaway (1988), and Native LGBTQ2 Film History” in the Journal of Lesbian Studies. Ze also has a manuscript in progress, Two-Spirit Reelness: Seeing Trans* Indigenous Visions. A descendent of the Rarámuri, Caxcan, Apache, and Chicanx, ze also serves on the Indigenous Pride Los Angeles and is Co-Chair of the City of Angels Two-Spirit Society.

Credit: Flo Ngala

Steven G. Fullwood (he/him) is an archivist, documentarian, and writer. His published works include Black Gay Genius (co-edited with Charles Stephens, 2014), To Be Left with the Body (co-edited with Cheryl Clarke, 2008) and Carry the Word: A Bibliography of Black LGBTQ Books (co-edited with Lisa C. Moore, 2007). He is the former assistant curator of the Manuscripts, Archives & Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 1998, he founded the In the Life Archive (ITLA) to aid in the preservation of materials produced by LGBTQ people of African descent. Fullwood is the co-founder of The Nomadic Archivists Project, an initiative that partners with organizations, institutions, and individuals to establish, preserve, and enhance collections that explore the African Diasporic experience. In 2005, Fullwood was honored with a New York Times Librarian Award.


Credit Felicia Perez

Emily K. Hobson (she/her) is a historian of radical movements, LGBTQ politics, and HIV/AIDS in the United States. She serves as Chair of the Department of Gender, Race, and Identity and as Associate Professor of History and of Gender, Race, and Identity at the University of Nevada, Reno. Hobson is the author of Lavender and Red: Liberation and Solidarity in the Gay and Lesbian Left (2016) and co-editor of Remaking Radicalism: A Grassroots Documentary Reader of the United States, 1973-2001 (2020). Lavender and Red has been recognized as a finalist to three book awards: the Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ Studies, the First Book Prize from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction from the Publishing Triangle. Hobson has additionally been awarded the LGBTQ Research Fellowship from the ONE Archives Foundation, the Carel B. Germain Fellowship from Smith College, the Joan Heller-Diane Bernard Fellowship from the Center for LGBTQ Studies at the City University of New York, and the Mousel-Feltner Research Award from UNR, among other honors. She earned her PhD in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2009. From 2018 through 2020 she served as the co-chair of the Committee on LGBT History, helping to inaugurate the first Queer History Conference. Her current research addresses HIV/AIDS activism by, for, and with people in prisons in the 1980s and 1990s United States.

David K. Johnson is a historian and award-winning author of two books, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians (2004) and Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement (2019). A nationally recognized authority on LGBT history, he has appeared on CNN, PBS, and CBS Sunday Morning and his writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Foreign Policy. He has contributed to government reports and legal briefs which document a history of LGBT discrimination and thereby seek to expand civil rights protections and create a more inclusive educational curriculum. His first book was made into the award-winning documentary film “The Lavender Scare,” which aired nationwide on PBS. He has won both the John Boswell Prize from the Committee of LGBT History of the American Historical Association and the Randy Shilts Award in gay studies. He has enjoyed fellowships from the National Humanities Center, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Social Science Research Council. Johnson holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, both in history. As Professor in the History Department at the University of South Florida, he teaches courses on the post-1945 U.S. and the history of gender and sexuality.

Jen Manion (she/they) is Professor of History and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College. She is a social and cultural historian whose work examines the role of gender and sexuality in American life. Manion is author of Liberty’s Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (2015) which received the inaugural Mary Kelley Best Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Their most recent book, Female Husbands: A Trans History (2020) was a finalist for the OAH Lawrence Levine Award for the best book in U.S. cultural history and recipient of the best book prize by the British Association of Victorian Studies. This research was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Manion has published dozens of essays for popular and scholarly audiences and serves on the editorial boards of Amherst College Press, Early American Studies, and The William and Mary Quarterly. Manion is working on a two-volume series, The Cambridge History of Sexuality in the United States with co-editor Nicholas Syrett. Previously, Jen worked for ten years at Connecticut College as a faculty member in the history department and founding director of the LGBTQ Resource Center. Jen received a PhD in history from Rutgers University and a BA in history with an English minor from the University of Pennsylvania, magna cum laude.

Christopher Packard (he/him) is a Clinical Professor in Global Liberal Studies at New York University, where he teaches Core humanities and writing courses and upper-level courses like Misfits of the American West, Middlesexes, Indigeneity Today, Sexualities and Languages, and International Shorts. His book Queer Cowboys and Other Erotic Male Friendships in 19th Century U.S. Literature (2006) explores the literary history of Anglo/Indian male friendships and the authors who invented them, including well-known writers like Cooper, Whitman, Twain, and Wister, as well as anonymous or now-forgotten writers in the pulp fiction and magazine markets. Packard's current project is called "Minority Self-Fashioning in North America, 1730-1830."

Wendy L. Rouse (she/her) is a historian specializing in recovering the stories of women and children living in the US during the Progressive Era. Her most recent book, Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement (2022), reveals the role of queer suffragists and queerness in the fight for the vote. Rouse is also the author of Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement  which examines the emergence of women's self-defense alongside the first-wave of feminism during the Progressive Era and Children of Chinatown: Growing up Chinese American in San Francisco (2009) which explores the lives of Chinese American children during the era of Chinese exclusion. Rouse is an Associate Professor of History at San Jose State University.

Sandra Slater received her doctorate from the University of Kentucky in 2009 and is currently and Associate Professor of History at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. At CofC Slater offers courses on early America, gender and queer history, comparative early modern colonization of North America, and History of Appalachia. Raised in eastern Kentucky by a coal mining family, issues of power and oppression inform her teaching, research, and community activism. Her research focuses primarily on issues of gender, sexuality, and masculinity in early America and the Atlantic World. Dr. Slater publishes in a variety of venues including Church History, French Colonial History, and the Journal of Early American History. She is currently finishing a book manuscript, The Pompe and Pride of Man: Personal and Public Humility in Early New England.

Institute Directors and Staff

Danielle Bennett (she/her) is an ASHP grad fellow working on the Institute. She is a second-year student in US History and Public History at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research looks at the intersections of queer history and the historic preservation movement in the 19th and 20th centuries. She also teaches world history at Brooklyn College and is a research assistant for the Gotham Center. Her most recent publication is “Lessons from Glen Burnie: Queering a Historic House Museum,” in the December 2020 issue of the Journal of Museum Education. Danielle received her MA in History and Museum Studies from Tufts in 2019.

Peter Mabli (he/him) is the project director for online programs at ASHP/CML. He has worked as both a high school social studies teacher and an adjunct professor of history at Fairleigh Dickinson University and the College of Saint Elizabeth. Dr. Mabli has developed and implemented fully online courses for both colleges, including courses on New Jersey history and the history of revolutions in the United States. Peter earned his Ph.D. in history and culture at Drew University, specializing in food history and early American national identity, and has delivered presentations on food culture to public and academic audiences around the country.

Donna Thompson Ray (she/her) is the project director for faculty development programs at ASHP/CML. She has directed many NEH-funded faculty development programs and visual history projects, including Learning to Look: Visual Evidence and the U.S. Past in the New Media Classroom (2002-04) and the Picturing U.S. History: An Interactive Resource for Teaching with Visual Evidence website. She is a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. history at Drew University specializing in nineteenth-century American visual culture.


Annie Valk (she/her) is the executive director of ASHP/CML. Before coming to The Graduate Center in 2020, she was associate director for public humanities and a lecturer in history at Williams College, where she taught experiential and community-based classes in oral history and public history. Prior to that, she was associate professor of history and director of women’s studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and deputy director of the Center for Public Humanities at Brown University.  Annie teaches public history at the Graduate Center and has written extensively in the areas of women’s history, history of feminism, and oral history. Her books include the Companion to American Women's History, 2nd Edition, co-edited with Nancy A. Hewitt (2021).  She is also the author of Radical Sisters: Second-Wave Feminism and Black Liberation in Washington, DC, 1968-1980 (2008) and Living with Jim Crow: African American Women and Memories of the Segregated South (2010), co-authored with Leslie Brown and recipient of the 2011 Oral History Association Book Prize. From 2015-2016, Valk served as president of the Oral History Association.  She currently is book series editor of the Oral History Series published by Oxford University Press, and the Humanities and Public Life book series, published by the University of Iowa Press. 

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