LGBTQ+ Histories of the United States: Summer Institute
This summer thirty middle and high school teachers from throughout the United States joined the ASHP/CML for a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Summer Institute on LGBTQ+ Histories of the United States. For two weeks in July, participants met virtually for presentations by noted scholars and archivists, and for hands-on workshops focused on teaching about LGBTQ+ history. The institute introduced the rich body of recent scholarship covering the span of U.S. history, from early America to the 1990s, and engaged sources suited for classroom use, including military and government records, oral history interviews, literature, photography, and organizational archives. Several live “Q&A” sessions with archivists featured nationally renowned cultural institutions: New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, NY), the New York Public Library’s LGBTQ Initiative, and the Lesbian Herstory Archive.
Participating teachers appreciated the opportunity to learn more about a topic that had been omitted from their own formal education and to strategize with colleagues about ways to effectively include LGBTQ+ topics in their own courses. At the conclusion of the institute, one teacher reflected, “I will use the materials, information, and connections to people that I acquired from this institute for the rest of my teaching career. I've already planned lessons for the fall that I plan to use and adapt as I teach and learn about my new students and their needs.” And another agreed, “I cannot wait to share this information with my students and fellow teachers.”
As part of the NEH grant, our work now shifts to dissemination. In the coming year, we will develop a website with recordings of selected presentations by scholars, primary documents, teaching modules, and bibliographic resources. In addition, we will host several upcoming webinars focused on teaching strategies and LGBTQ+ materials.