Summer is over but my work isn’t

I can’t believe my summer filled with LGBT alums and microfilm readers has come to an end. I have six oral history interviews completed for Swem Special Collections but many more people are still interested in being interviewed and contributing to this collection. As part of my work as a researcher for the W&M Mattachine Project during the semester, I will continue to conduct these interviews for anyone that is willing. I began my TA position with Prof. Leisa Meyers’s “Intro to LGBTIQ History” course and will also teach this new batch of historians about oral histories and my findings. Be on the lookout for the Boswell Lecture over Homecoming Weekend! I will be presenting my summer research and work with the W&M Mattachine Project as part of the lecture series to open for main speaker E. Patrick Johnson. Also check out all of my interviews when they become available through Swem Special Collections later this semester!

The End… At least until Orientation is Over

This weekend I was in D.C. and completed my final two oral histories for the summer. I spoke with two gay recent alumni and was interested to here how much our campus, state, and country have changed in the last 4-10 years. For this final blog post I thought I would post one of the articles I found as I started to go through the Richmond Afro-American.

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Oral Histories with Doug and Mica

It’s the start of August I have two oral histories completed with at least three more planned for the next week August. This will meet my goal of completing at least five by the end of the summer and I still have at several more people interested who I just need to solidify a scheduled time and place to conduct the oral history.

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Thnks fr th Mmrs (of your LGBTIQ+ experience at W&M)

With a recently approved PHSC proposal in hand to conduct oral histories with support from Swem Special Collections, I am scheduling appointments and meetings to actually conduct the oral history interviews with the alumni I have contacted. Jeff Trammell (WM ’73 and former Rector of the College) has served as an extremely helpful resource in finding LGBTIQ alums that are also members of other underrepresented groups. He has already been interviewed by the Stephens Project at Special Collections but he put me in contact with many of my potential interviewees. I have also been testing and researching several options for recording phone or video calls for my oral histories. I do not want to limit my pool of alumni to only those within driving distance and have had some luck in finding a couple viable options (although any suggestions from more tech savvy summer researchers would be much appreciated!)

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W&M Mattachine Project – Summer 2016 Research Abstract

This semester I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the research team for the W&M Mattachine Project: Documenting the LGBTIQ Past in Virginia. Our team began archival research into Virginia’s LGBTIQ past at Swem Special Collections, VCU, and the Library of Virginia. This project culminated in an exhibition of our research at Swem that solicited feedback from the public. One concern that arose was a lack of intersectional representation in the records we were able to go through during the spring semester. This summer I will continue my research with the W&M Mattachine Project under the direction of Prof. Leisa Meyer and hope to address some of these suggestions for further research.

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