I am currently working to transform my dissertation titled, “Queering Collective Memory: Public History and the Future of the Queer Past,” into a book. This work explores issues of historicity and identity in LGBT history/history making by reading case studies of archival collections, oral histories, and queer culture as archival against feminist/queer and archival theory.
As a rapidly growing field, public history has opened possibilities for the study of the relationship between history and memory, and the ways in which archives, oral history projects, and other public uses of the past contribute to the construction of identities, the formation of communities, and to resistance and assimilation. Instead of offering a “best practice” approach to historical interpretation at public sites like much of the literature in public history, my work provides a critical study of public history, history, and memory. “LGBTQ” as a single historical narrative obscures the differences in bodies, genders, and other pertinent experiences. Which histories are prioritized? What “norms” do these histories reinforce? Which cultural norms are challenged? How are these histories used? These are the types of questions I undertake within my work.