Annual LGBTQ2S+ lecture
About the series
In 2019 the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) held its inaugural LGBTQ2S+ lecture, with the ambitious goal of establishing an annual endowed lecture which will have an enduring impact on Calgary’s culture by bringing ground-breaking scholars into conversation with the broader community in Calgary during Calgary’s Pride Week.
The CIH’s new lecture series is part of a long tradition at the University of Calgary to support diversity and inclusion, particularly sexual minorities. As can be seen in Kevin Allen’s history of the LGBTQ community in Calgary, Our Past Matters, the University of Calgary has a proud history of hosting internationally prominent speakers on LGBTQ rights: in 1969, for example, there was a lecture in Mac Hall by Harold Call, the pioneering gay activist, publisher, and member of the Mattachine Society. This lecture was attended by plainclothes police officers from the vice squad, who were not there to promote to diversity and inclusion, but they left without incident after being recognized by the speaker. A couple of years later, the University of Calgary hosted a talk by Sir John Wolfenden. He had earlier led an inquiry into the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain in the 1950s, which resulted in the Wolfenden Report, one of the most important documents in lesbian and gay rights. The CIH is hoping to build an endowment to support an annual visit by key figures in LGBTQ2S+ Studies
With the support of Dr Annette Timm, who as the editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality has helped us to connect with some of the most distinguished researchers in this field, our donors, community partners and UCalgary Alumni, the CIH is making a powerful demonstration of the University’s continuing commitment to diversity and is aiming to play an even more active role in promoting LGBTQ2S+ studies.
Lectures in the news
In the News: Annette Timm, History | CIH | The Gauntlet
The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation – An interview with Dr. Lillian Faderman
2020 Lillian Faderman Lecture
2020 Second annual lecture
The speaker for the second annual lecture was Dr. Lillian Faderman, the preeminent scholar of lesbian history and literature and an award-winning author of eleven books, including New York Times Notable Books of the Year Surpassing the Love of Men, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, and The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. Owing to COVID-19, we were forced to move the talk by Dr. Faderman online; however, in partnership with UCalgary Alumni, we were able to webcast her lecture, “The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation: A Brief History of Lesbian Feminism and What it Accomplished”, and the ensuing Q&A session moderated by Dr. Timm to an audience across North America and beyond.
The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation: An Interview with Dr. Lillian Faderman
2019 George Chauncey lecture
2019 First annual lecture
Our inaugural lecture featured Dr. George Chauncey, an author and historian whose publications (notably Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 and Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality) have changed the way gay history was written, and who, by serving as an expert witness in more than thirty gay rights cases in the United States, including the landmark Supreme Court gay marriage case, has helped to change history. His lecture, entitled “Rethinking the Closet: New York Gay Life Before Stonewall” challenged the dominant narrative of the 1950s and 1960s as a time of intense repression for queer communities and was enjoyed by over 150 people in the lecture hall at the new Central Public Library in Calgary.